But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.” Job 2:10 NLT
I knew serving overseas in Niger wasn't going to be easy.
Niger has a different culture, food, and language. But the frustration increased when I was left alone. Initially, I was with a team, but the married couple returned to the States for the summer, leaving me alone. The problem intensified when I had to take care of a dog with an obnoxious bark.
A storm of trouble came from both inside and outside of my four walls. Then the figurative became real when rains came and added a new layer of misery as the rainwater came up through the shower drain and flooded the house.
I wondered how much more I could take. Then, more dreaded news came: my dad had passed away in the States.
Grieving is hard enough to do with friends in a familiar setting but more difficult when doing it alone. I could have easily fallen into the sin of despair, thinking no one cared.
Fortunately, I was not alone. A friend connected me to a family from South Africa who helped me experience some much-needed fellowship and took the time to visit me during my mourning.
Job's wife told him to curse God and die. Later, friends told him he had sinned. But Job knew we must accept both good and trouble for it all comes from God.
Through my trouble, I understood the sufficiency of God's love and grace, no matter the situation. Trouble can drive us toward the only immovable Rock that can help us weather life's storms.
Is trouble flooding you like water coming in through the shower drain? Are you trying to figure out how to deal with things independently? Ask God to help you realize others can help you see God’s sufficiency.
Eric Swanson lives in Niamey, Niger, where he teaches English to refugees. He has visited a wide array of countries, such as China, Vietnam, Ireland, and Russia. When he is not teaching, he enjoys reading or writing books. His mother and sister live in the States.
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