A Good Problem to Have

Twice in a meeting today, I hear (and use) the expression, “It’s a good problem to have.” Sometimes, the problems in an organization aren’t bad. They’re good. For example, too many people or too much money to manage means growth. Those are good problems.

But could I say that of other problems or even all problems? I wonder about the phrase all day. Could I say of any given problem that it’s a “good problem to have” since it represents God growing me, disciplining me, inviting dependence, or allowing me to experience His presence? It’s encouraging to think about how our problems are all good problems to have because, no matter what, God is working.

So I thought about that expression. I kept thinking about it.

As I turned to Exodus to complete my Bible reading plan, I think about all the problems associated with the birth of Moses, in particular from the perspective of Moses’s mother. I’ve read the account over a hundred times, yet each time, I pause in wonder. If you remember, Pharaoh instructs in Exodus 1:22 that “every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile. . .” in order to stop the spreading of the Hebrew people. Moses’s mother hides him for three months and then places him in a basket along the bank of the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses and is filled with compassion for him. At just the right time, Moses’s sister who had been watching nearby asks Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

And, as you know, Moses’s sister returns with Moses’s mother. And then, Pharaoh’s daughter says the most ironic and beautiful words in Exodus 2:9: “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.”

I always stop right here. I think of Moses’s mother surrendering that baby only to receive him back with the double blessing of receiving payment for what she was already will to do freely. I think of Moses’s mother laughing about this. I bet she shook her head in unbelief and then joy.

I think about how God has a way about Him that He can give back to you what you give up but in a better, more blessed, more fruitful way. I wonder if that mother thought that having to send Moses off the way she did was a good problem to have. No. There’s no way she did at the time. It would have been an impossible and ridiculous thought. But later? I think of how she must have praised God.

So my problems right now just might be good problems to have because they represent what God is doing either right now or in the future.


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