I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. Psalm 120:1 NLT
Trouble arrived in a way it never had before.
I’d seen trouble before—but not like this time. The trouble came in the form of financial meltdown. My wife and I had experienced financial challenges before, but this time was different. Before, she could work and help with the income. This time, she couldn’t. Health problems made it impossible—and her disability case lingered on the desk of someone who had more than they could handle and wasn’t worried about our situation.
Every two weeks, my paycheck arrived, accompanied by my wife’s reminder that there wasn’t enough money to go around. Some things wouldn’t get paid unless unexpected money rolled in. Unlike my wife—who likes to keep her troubles to herself—I don’t mind sharing. So I told my boss, work peers who were friends, children, church folks, family, neighbors, and a pastor friend. Help came from various places, and somehow our bills got paid.
And my wife and I helped ourselves as much as we could. We downsized, selling everything we didn’t need and that wasn’t family heirlooms or made by my father. My wife had a yard sale and busied herself selling on Facebook. Eventually, what we had to sell ran out, but the bills kept coming and the money kept dwindling.
In all of our financial drama, we didn’t forget to do what the psalmist did: cried out to the Lord. Pleas filled my prayers, and God answered in numerous and unexpected ways.
Troubles are perplexing. They may signal God’s discipline for unconfessed sin in my life, or they may not. Troubles come to the evil and the good, so being one way or the other doesn’t seem to affect their arrival.
The difference is focus. As a believer, I choose to think God controls the troubles—their arrival, their intensity, and their duration. I also believe crying out to Him makes a difference. Doing so may not make the trouble go away, but knowing He’s in control and seeing His answers gives me a peace that’s beyond understanding.
Although my wife and I spent many months in our current crises, we never lost our sense of peace and joy. We knew we were living in God’s will, believed He loved us, and faithed that He’d supply our needs.
When troubles come your way, cry out to the One who can do something about them.
Prayer: Father, we call out to You when troubles overwhelm us and we see no way out.
Tweetable: Where do you turn in troubled times?