In Times of Trouble

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Who hasn't experienced trouble? Who hasn't been at the end of their tether? "Man is born to trouble" but this truth runs contrary to our fond fantasy that life is an easy pathway to a series of peak experiences on the stairway to heaven.

When trouble did come my way, it broke over me in waves. I should have known better, but I assured myself that I could successfully navigate to a safe harbor. Yet the storm only intensified, and I was pounded by the waves and blown and tossed by the wind. Like Jonah, "The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me...and to the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth barred me in forever."

In my own day of trouble, all the usual answers proved to be empty and dangerous. And so when all options were exhausted and all doors had closed, I finally abandoned self reliance and prayed to God for deliverance from this impossible danger and distress. My situation was desperate, truly unsustainable, but miraculously I was lifted out of that storm and placed on a safe and secure rock.

Twelve years later, I was reminded of that storm and the miracle that saved me. During a Christmas Eve service at a local church, a group of children handed out little candy canes with a handwritten verse from one of the psalms tied to it. I almost rejected the small gift, but at the last moment, I accepted it. The note was this: "'Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.'" My eyes were suddenly opened, for I realized then and there why I had experienced that miracle so many years before. I also realized that I was being called to honor God with the life that had been saved. And at that moment, I experienced a new freedom that I had never known before.

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