If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength. That’s the way the proverb goes, and this one has been coming back to me lately. There has been plenty of trouble to put my strength to the test.
If you’re a steady reader of A Lady in France, you’ll know that I took the month of November off to focus on completing my next novel. I’m happy to say I did it! I started out with 25,000 words and ended up with about 50,000 more. It has a beginning, an end, and a bunch of scenes in the middle that I hope I can attach to a story arc. It’s a start, at any rate.
As fate would have it, this goal-setting of chipping out 1667 words, each and every day, fell during a challenging time in my life – a challenging times in the world. Is no country untouched? For my own, it’s no secret that I’m not a supporter of Trump, and to see the after-effects of the election and the increase of hatred and intolerance has been hard. Dismay, I think, has been the overall emotion.
The goal-setting came among joys. The usual November things, like my son’s birthday and my birthday, and Thanksgiving (which we celebrated on a Saturday).
This was the final straw. Already, we had been reeling from another difficult situation, which I cannot talk about publicly because it doesn’t affect just me; the contractor seems to have abandoned us and we may be left with a hole in our living room wall and falling plaster for the foreseeable future. And then! As if we needed this, someone backed into our car and refused to pay for it and – without going into all the details – there’s nothing we can do about it. This doesn’t even mention all the smaller worries and annoyances that seem to have jumped on the bandwagon of fun.
Trouble comes with friends, doesn’t it?
You know what I mean, right? Even if I can’t share all the details, you get the point. You’ve gone through this too, haven’t you? Or maybe you’re going through it right now.
I was pretty much a basket case until we went to Thanksgiving dinner. There, a friend gave me a spontaneous back rub, which thawed the ice that had formed around my heart. I sat next to our minister, and he shared with me that Jesus’ whole life was spent reminding people that God is good. In times of goodness, God is good.
In times of trouble, God is good.
We ended the evening with a completely impromptu session of singing hymns. Three of us sing in front of the church, and if I may say so myself, the group of us sounded amazing together.
Now I’m doing better. The circumstances haven’t changed. At all. In fact, they’ve gotten worse. But my heart is at peace. The more troubles that come our way, the more I am determined to stay strong. I think of Hebrews 10:39:
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
I think of the proverb:
And I’m determined that I will not falter. We will not falter, friends. Our strength is not small.