Troubles, troubles, troubles

Trouble? Well, clear and plainly I will say that trouble is not welcome in my life! Sounds realistic doesn’t it? Ha! I mean who really wants trouble? Unless of course trouble is a cute toddler wearing a shirt that says “Here comes trouble.” That’s the kind of trouble I might welcome.

But, trouble does indeed come into our lives, and there’s no escaping it. And, trouble brings growth, it demands, and gets attention from us doesn’t it? Let’s face it God will use the troubles in our lives to get our attention. Israel loses its focus on God and sure enough they’re in trouble again! Honestly, didn’t those people ever learn that things were so better for them when they kept their focus on God and turned to Him for everything? How could they get wrapped up in the world and countercultures that they knew were going to lead them to destruction? When were they going to stop being covetous for what other people had? When were they going to remember that it was God Himself that delivered them from the oppressive hands of the Egyptians? Why after they were delivered into the wilderness did they build a golden calf to worship, hadn’t God just taken them out of oppression? I mean when were they actually going to learn to turn to God in all things?

It’s so easy to look at how God guided the Israelites and sit back and shake our heads over their lack of faith and super short memory. But, each of us are exactly like those Israelites! When are we going to get it? We get so wrapped up in the here and now, technology screams at us, the politically correct culture demands that we behave in a manner that is counterproductive to those things that God says we should/must do. We fall prey to the very same things that those stubborn Israelites did, it’s just ours is all wrapped up in a shiny, attractive looking package and tells us that it will solve all of our problems. And what do we do when we succumb to these pressures? We lose sight of God, we pull into ourselves, we have a temper tantrum, we demand OUR way. We talk to others, maybe our spouses, maybe our closest friends, maybe our outer circle of friends, maybe we blast it all over social media, maybe we scream to any person who will listen. Perhaps we want verification and validation from others so that we can feel vindicated for the wrongs happening to us.

But, do we automatically turn to God? I don’t think that I can affirmatively answer that with a resounding Yes for each and every trouble that comes into my life. For some reason, I need to think on it, I must dwell on it. When I am good and ready, I’ll take it to God, beg Him to resolve it, and then I’ll take it back and fret about it some more. What a waste! And I firmly believe that I am not alone in this struggle. I am no better than those Israelites out in the wilderness.

How much better would our lives go if we can train ourselves to be diligent and take each and every trouble, each moment in our lives to God? How much easier would our days go if we would stop and utter breath prayers (short little conversations with God, even as small as two to three words) over the many things that we experience during our days – keeping God at the top of our mind. Thank you Lord for always being there for me! May my focus ever be on the vertical and off of the horizontal.

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