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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