My husband lost his job yesterday.
The job that provided sustenance for two adults, 8 special needs children and a son in college.
The job that we viewed as our provision for now and the future.
And it has brought trouble.
It has brought anxiety.
Anxiety over how we will pay our mortgage so we won't lose the house.
It has brought concern.
Concern about how we will continue to feed this large brood with just our savings and how we will pay for the glasses that Kali needs without medical insurance.
It has brought gut-wrenching sadness.
Sadness that the 7-year-old limbless girl, the girl we named Hope, will not have a family after all.
It has brought perplexity.
Trouble was not in our plan. Trouble has turned our world upside-down.
But in the midst of these human emotions, trouble is bringing us a deep, satisfying drink from the well of God's grace.
Trouble is bringing us an awareness of how much we are loved.
We are enveloped by the kindness, prayers and expressions of love from those around us. The support is always there, but we aren't fully aware of it until trouble comes.
Trouble is making us see the preciousness of our children's hearts.
We are cherishing the offers of their McDonald's gift cards and savings to help buy food, their suggestions of job possibilities (Wal-Mart and PetSmart were the favorites) and their declarations of not wanting Christmas gifts this year.
Trouble is bringing greater strength to our marriage relationship.
Two people, often distracted by the busy-ness and the cares of this world, are verbalizing, "I love you," to each other often and praying together with a never-before-experienced depth and zeal.
Trouble is bringing a renewed awareness that God is our portion, and not an earthly job.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." (Lamentations 3). God has engraved this on our hearts afresh.
Will trouble crush us? God forbid.
Trouble shows us that His promises are real.
"I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant':
I have chosen you and have not rejected you."
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."