We often think of God as an insurance against problems; if we worship him, he will protect us. However, sometimes amidst problems when such relief doesn’t seem to be forthcoming, we may ask in perplexity, “Why is this problem coming?” or “Why is Krishna not solving this problem despite my praying to him?” Such questions often have no immediate answers. Rather than staying stuck and perplexed, we can change our question to: “How can I move ahead amidst this situation – how can I gain shelter and strength to go through this problem?” This question enables us to recontextualize our situation: we understand that sometimes, external difficulty is what we need to enhance our inner spirituality.
The Bhagavad-gita (18.58) assures that if we become conscious of Krishna, we will by his grace pass over all obstacles. Whereas earlier we may have conceived Krishna consciousness as doing directly devotional activities and thereby getting freed from problems by his grace, we now discover a much more inclusive and expansive understanding. We realize that even amidst the problem, if we turn our consciousness towards him, he is with us, within us, guarding and guiding us. The blows of life may still hit us, but they won’t hurt us that much because we are shielded by our inner absorption in our Lord. And by the calmness and clarity coming from that absorption, our intelligence becomes established by divine grace, and we figure out the best way to navigate through that problem.
When we face crushing problems that would normally flatten us, and our inner remembrance of Krishna shelters and strengthens us, our spiritual conviction in the reality and potency of Krishna consciousness increases. With this conviction, we can march ahead, facing obstacles gracefully and evolving through them towards Krishna.