PROGRAM D-8264

Trouble often comes in multiples, have you noticed? At least it seems that way. What can we do when something bad is happening on every hand? That’s the dilemma Fran is facing this week.

Her litany of troubles includes her son breaking his wrist at school so now his right hand is out of commission for six weeks, turning him into a helpless, demanding whiner, at times. She had to make a crisis, unscheduled presentation at work, which threw her way behind in her job. Then, she learned that her good friend at church, Joan, has been readmitted to the hospital with an aggressive cancer—after they all thought she was cancer free. It appears she will not live much longer, and Fran is heartsick for her husband and children. Then last night, Fran’s car wouldn’t start, and her tax bill went up dramatically, so she’s got financial worries as well. All this in a three-day period!

This morning she really doesn’t want to get out of bed and face the day. “I feel like burying myself under the covers because as sure as I get up and get going, something else bad is going to happen,” she says to herself.

She can hear the Lord saying to her, “Why are you allowing yourself to wallow in your troubles?”

“Lord,” she replies, “do you expect me to be happy, happy, happy when things go wrong? I mean, let’s be realistic. Life has been rotten lately.”

She can hear him say, “Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” She’s so prone to carry her own troubles herself and must continually re-learn this lesson of turning them over to the Lord.

“I will turn them over to you, Lord,” she says, “but I just can’t put a phony smile on my face and pretend nothing’s wrong when everything’s wrong!”

“Everything?” she can almost hear Jesus ask.

“Well. . . “ Fran recognizes her exaggeration. “I’m sorry, Lord, but it’s a bad time.”

She remembers the verse in Psalm 34:15 that says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.”

Suddenly Fran focuses on the Lord, instead of on herself, and realizes she has been trying to carry the load alone. She remembers that Jesus is her friend and her brother, and her struggles never escape his attention.

“But Lord, why? Why do bad things happen all at once? And why does Joan have to die?” Fran pours out her questions, as the tears flow freely.

Jesus doesn’t answer her why questions, but he does reassure her that he will never leave her or forsake her.