Why Can’t My Problems Just Go Away?
(Lessons from Golden Hour)

by | Mar 19, 2024

I am a HUGE fan of “golden hour.”

Golden hour is a period right after sunrise, and before sunset, when the light is much softer than when the sun is in the sky. It’s a wonderful time to take photographs. Many photographers refer to this time as “magic hour” although it sometimes lasts much shorter, or a bit longer than an hour. If you want to take some really beautiful selfies or family photos, golden hour is the perfect time.

One evening last week, I was sitting at home by the window, quietly eating dinner by myself, as my husband was out of town. The silence lent itself to me going deep into thought, as the light began to create a beautiful glow in the room.  I’m also a huge fan of natural light, so as is my custom, I hadn’t turned any lights on in the house before sundown. The only light present was natural light from outside. As I sat there twirling bucatini on my fork, I thought to myself, “I wish every hour was golden hour.”

As I continued to quietly eat and ponder, I realized that sometimes I can be unrealistic about how days should go.  I wish that every moment of every day could be golden, and many times I have practically knocked myself out trying to make it so. I’ve tried to work to this end, plan to this end, and strategize to this end. I wish I could run headfirst into every problem in my life and tackle it, never to have another one again.

In his book, Eating Problems For Breakfast, Tim Hansel shares that people have three false ideas about problems:

We believe there is something inherently bad about problems, because they often involve us in unpleasant pressures, distressing conflict, or an inconvenient interruption of our plans for a smooth and easy life.


We think that lack of problems should be a reward for hard work, careful planning, and clear thinking. Present within each of us in the hope that eventually out ahead somewhere, sometime, our life will be free of problems of any kind.


We think that if we love God, commit our lives to Him and diligently serve Him, He will work things out for us so that everything will run smoothly, for us and we will be free from problems. When it doesn’t work that way, we ask why is this or that happening to us. We find it easy to believe that unbelievers or scoundrels have problems but inevitably we ask why does a just and loving God permit us to experience difficulties and hard times. We are always ready to accept and praise Him for our blessings, but we fail to see that so often, our problems are really blessings in disguise.

A lot of what Hansel says sounds like me, particularly the second one. I have wrongly thought that a lack of problems should be a reward for all of my organization and hard work. Sometimes when a problem comes up, I think, “Why, why, why? I work so dang hard to avoid these things! And yet, here they still are!”

I strive for integrity in all that I do.

I repent when I’m wrong.

I welcome wisdom before I make any decision.

I pray.

I read my bible.

I try to do all the things.

So why, why, why, can I not outrun all of the problems in my life if I just work hard enough? No matter what I do, they keep coming back like whack-a-mole!

As I sat and contemplated all of this, I realized how ridiculous my thinking has been at times.

I cannot get enough wisdom in my life to be free of problems.

I cannot behave in any such way that problems are going to be avoided.

I cannot be diligent enough to never have to deal with a setback.

Problems are just a reality of our fallen world and there’s only one place where it will be golden hour 24/7 and that is in heaven. Until then we’re going to be fielding problems, frustration and disappointments, with a few Golden Hours sprinkled in.

As I continued quietly eating my dinner, I was reminded that rather than praying for a perpetual golden hour, I needed to ask God to refine me through all the hours that aren’t golden and use every speck of it for His glory.

When we walk through hours that aren’t golden and handle them like Jesus wants us to, he redeems them and turns them to gold.

1 Comment

  1. Laura

    I needed this so much today Deanna
    I knew you would like the book and I’m glad I gave it to you, though I do think I might need to read it again one day… my problems have seem to run me over and have knocked me down this last month and I am so tired from it all….

    I need God’s help so much right now … I mean I always do but now even more … I too want Him to turn my none golden hours/days and refine them into Gold , it makes me think of the song Refiner’s Fire

    Sincerely Laura Elizabeth Flora


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