When we are faced with problems and feel there is absolutely no way out, it’s a perfect time to reflect on lessons in life for reassurance that all is not lost.
There is, in fact, a tale of long ago that offers lessons that can change one’s life forever. See if it helps you:
Once there was a farmer in a small village in China who owed a large sum of money to a very old and mean man. The farmer had a very pretty daughter that the old lender desired for his own bidding. So the old lender proposed a deal. He offered to forgive the debt if he could marry the farmer’s daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by this proposition.
So the old lender suggested chance should determine the outcome of his proposal. Since the discussion was taking place on the road in front of the farmer’s house and the road was paved with pebbles, he told the farmer he would put two pebbles — one black and one white — in an empty bag and the daughter would pick, without looking, one of the two pebbles.
If she picks the black one, she must marry the old lender and the debt of her father is forgiven. If she picks the white pebble, she does not have to marry the old lender and the debt is also forgiven. If she refuses to pick a pebble, her father will go to jail.
While he was speaking, the old lender leaned forward and picked up two pebbles. As he was picking them up, the daughter, with her watchful eyes, noticed he had picked up two black pebbles and quickly put them in the money bag. She said nothing. The old lender then asked the daughter to pick a pebble out of the bag.
Imagine for an instant what you would have done? What would you have suggested the daughter do at this point? There are three possibilities to consider: 1. The daughter refuses to pick a pebble and her father goes to jail. 2. The daughter picks out both pebbles revealing the old lender has cheated, but her father will still owe the money and may yet go to jail. 3. The daughter picks out the black pebble and sacrifices herself by marrying the old lender and save her father from imprisonment.
Whatever she decides, the daughter’s dilemma cannot be resolved in an equitable manner. There are consequences to each of the possible three options. What would you have done?
Now, think back to every trial you have faced — every time you felt cornered with no way out. When the odds are against you it is very difficult to see every possibility, right? It is hard to think. Yet, there are solutions to problems we never even dreamed of. There are answers to every question and a solution to every problem. We can’t always see it, but it is there.
Christians are reminded at 2Corinthians 4:8-9: “We are pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; we are persecuted, but not left in the lurch; we are thrown down, but not destroyed.” — New World Translation.
Why is it that true Christians are “not absolutely with no way out?” It is because they know Someone who can see every solution to every problem even when they can’t. And this person will never let them down. As 1Corinthians 10:13 says: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” — New Living Translation.
If we cannot think as logical or imaginative as we need to, God’s promise is that He will “show you a way out” so you can endure your trials faithfully.
In the case of the farmer’s daughter, here was her solution: She swiftly plunged her hand into the bag, with eyes closed, picked a pebble and clumsily dropped it on the ground where it mixed with other pebbles before it could be determined if it was black or white.
“Ah! I am so nervous!” said the young woman. “But, no matter. If I remove the other pebble from the bag we will know which pebble I had picked, is that not correct?”
Since the second pebble was black, the first had to have been white! The old lender did not dare announce his cheating and forgave the debt. The farmer’s daughter had transformed a seemingly impossible situation into a win-win advantage for her and her father! You may not be the most resourceful thinker in the face of adversity. You may not know how to examine every angle of every dilemma. But there is Someone who does. And we are invited to pray to this All-wise Lifegiver to give us what we need to handle our problems.
As James 1:5 says, “If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you.” — GOD’S WORD Translation. The mistake many make is in asking God to get them out of a problem or to remove the problem when they should be praying for wisdom to solve the problem. Yes, a solution exists for every problem.
The Most High God is the most ingenious thinker in the universe. There is no solution beyond Him. So when you feel there is no way out, don’t forget to pray for wisdom and keep praying until you receive it. Because the answer is out there.