I love the Andy Griffith show, so forgive me for this example.

Otis, the town drunk would come in the courthouse on the weekend and lock himself up for public intoxication. He would sleep off his hangover, and he would let himself out of the prison cell the next day. It all worked very smooth, Otis was safe from hurting himself or someone else. The sheriff didn’t have to go out of his way to pursue the guilty man. And Barney got to have someone in a cell, which he seemed to like. All three were grateful in their own way.

Here comes the difficult idea.

We are a lot like Otis. A good number of our problems are self-inflicted. Not all of our troubles, but many are brought on by behaviors or circumstances that we have some control over. I understand that some issues are beyond our control, some problems are caused by others, and difficult things just happen in life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bring guilt on all of us. I simply want to encourage you to look for a key.

The answers and solutions to most of our problems are within reach. Many of the situations we find ourselves in are like the Mayberry Courthouse. There is a key hanging on the wall, so close we can reach it. We can let ourselves out.

God can and will do miracles in certain situations, but in other circumstances, he provides a key on the wall. He makes sure that the answer is within reach. Maybe the key on the wall is a decision you need to make, a substance you need to avoid, or a conversation you need to have.

God can guide you, family can support you, friends can cheer you on. But only you can reach for the key, unlock the door, and walk out of the problem.

This is something I have learned to be grateful for, the solution to much of my trouble is within reach. The solution for me is often an attitude change. It may be something similar for you. I often say this “my biggest problem is me, your biggest problem is you, and God’s biggest problem is being misunderstood.” A tremendous amount of gratitude can come from knowing that God has an answer close by, waiting for us to humbly look for it.

Be honest, be humbled, be ready to reach for the key, and be grateful that sometimes the answer is hanging on the wall right beside you.

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