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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)

TITLE: Then Trouble Met Grace
By Bonnie Derksen


Grace and Trouble moved into our lives the same year. Or so it appeared. Trouble, true to nature, was noticed first. Loud, boisterous, in your face, he could not be ignored. In retrospect, Grace was always with us and in abundant measure. It was Trouble’s influence that heightened our need of Grace and allowed us to see her work in our lives.

More than the strength of Trouble, Grace won each round. She wove her way through every facet of our lives. Freely given and sent by the Mighty One, she enabled us to stand.

Early in the year, Trouble threw his first punch knocking out my husband with a herniated disk. Hospitalization, inability to work; Trouble’s blow affected us all.

Grace, true to her nature, steadied and strengthened us. At night, she was God’s voice of courage and peace to calm my fears regarding future health and finances. We kept plodding. Life resumed a steady pace.

Trouble’s second blow came with the loss of my husband’s job. Seventeen years in a truck manufacturing plant had appeared secure. We counted on it and wove all of our hopes and dreams and plans for the future around it. One cancelled contract shattered them all. Grace stood beside us, beneath us and around us, larger than our grief and stronger than the enemy pressing in.

Trouble tried a new approach. “You say you’ve surrendered your lives to the Mighty One for His intents and purposes? Let’s see how true that really is.” Then, during the night hours late in June, our vehicle was stolen. We wavered. We rocked and reeled. We scratched our heads in disbelief. But Grace, the precious gift from our Father, reminded us it was very real and that God was still bigger.

Grace encircled us, protecting from Trouble’s companions. Anger and Resentment sought to join his advance; they wanted to throw a few punches of their own. Larger than this enemy troop, Grace stabilized us, revealing the bigger picture, giving us the ability to surrender our hearts once more.

“It’s just a possession. God knows our needs. We’ll trust Him to provide.” And He did. With Grace’s ample supply we sang heart songs of gratitude in the midst of Trouble’s onslaught.

Trouble threw a mighty punch just a few months later, when the entire world faced the injustice of mass deaths through the hands of terrorists. Grace stood tall, released in vast measure, by a loving Father, as nation by nation reacted to the senseless deeds of Trouble and his vandal horde. Grace enabled people to pick up the pieces of their broken lives, and in the face of Trouble, speak hope from God’s immeasurable supply.

Trouble’s last blow that year brought the greatest proof of the abundance of Grace. Health, jobs, and possessions are valuable but don’t weigh in the balance compared to people; the loved ones in our lives.

Trouble’s friend, Cancer, had finished its dirty work. We stood as a family to say a temporary goodbye. My father’s body was a shadow of days gone by, but his spirit was stronger than ever. Grace had kept a constant vigil, never leaving his side, always encouraging, sustaining, and keeping, in spite of the disease.

Grace was abundant to meet our emotional needs, too. As we left the hospital room later that morning, Grace walked with us, comforting us, speaking of hope for our tomorrows. Despair and Hopelessness hovered in the background but Grace’s ample presence prohibited them from moving in any closer.

We had been warned. “In this world you will find trouble…” (John 16:33 NIV) and we did; four major strikes, along with many other minor blows. Trouble had pressed in; Grace had stood strong and kept us in Christ.

And now, years later, Trouble, in varying degrees, is still trying to affect us. Thankfully, our Father’s supply of Grace is abundant. He keeps us steady, standing firm, and shows us others who are in the midst of the battle. In love, we reach out to them, allowing the Father to use our voices, and say, “Lean into His grace. You will find abundance, friends.”

II Cor.9: 8 -“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

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This article has been read 984 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom06/15/06
How can one read this and not be touched, one by the triumphs and the creative and well written style. Thank you for this, it makes my little troubles so much smaller.
Ann Grover06/15/06
This was a blessing to read. Thank you.
dub W06/16/06
Very creative use of personification. Very well written. Thanks.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/18/06
A very creative way of expressing the topic. Well written also...Good job!
Sherry Wendling06/22/06
Wow...How did I miss this one? Well-deserved win--congratulations!
Sherry Wendling06/22/06
Congratulations, Bonnie! Bravo--You've outdone yourself as a Level 2...Time to move up!
Trina Courtenay06/22/06
Well deserved win indeed! Congrats!

Garnet Miller 06/22/06
This article touched me so much. I read it at a time when your words were like medicine for me. The tears came before I could stop them. God is so awesome and you reminded me of that at a time when things in my life had become overwhelming. His grace is sufficient for all things. Thanks for sharing that.
Jen Davis06/22/06
Excellent. There is so much I liked about this article. One of my favorite lines: "Grace stood beside us, beneath us and around us..." Congrats on your win. Very well deserved.
Marilee Alvey06/22/06
Wow! What reflection during crisis. What calm, coolheadedness during the storm. You should have been on the boat in the storm with the disciples! Sounds like, if Jesus had taken your hand on the water, after what you've been through, you wouldn't have faltered.

Your life experience is a lesson to us all. How fortunate that you are gifted with great writing skills to convey it to us so powerfully.

Congratulations on your well deserved win!
Rita Garcia06/22/06
Bonnie, congratulations on your EC win! God has sure blessed your pen!
David Story06/23/06
Very moving and so true. Thank you for this wonderful article. God is good indeed!
Congrats on the win!
Crista Darr06/26/06
What a comforting reminder for me as Trouble and all his buddies wreak havoc in my life. Thank you.