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Agitated, but not undone

"Here comes Trouble, with a capital T". Trouble is different for everyone - there is no set definition of trouble because it can morph into so many different paths depending on the individuals involved. Some of us seem to "find it" without even looking - it is like we are a magnet and trouble is some form of metal. Others seem to "make it" as though it were some natural outcome of everything they put their minds to doing. Still others seem to do everything they can to "avoid it", regardless of the cost - sometimes even avoiding all manner of living because if they didn't, it would find them. Trouble cannot be avoided sometimes - but we can find a good way to deal with it when it comes!

Take a good look at my trouble, and help me—I haven't forgotten your revelation. Take my side and get me out of this; give me back my life, just as you promised. (Psalm 119:153-154)

To trouble something or someone is to disturb the mental calm or contentment of that person or thing; to worry it and bring it distress; or agitate it so as to no longer allow it to be still. In the Hebrew language of old, we'd put a "Selah" after this so as to "stop and consider" what this says to us. The idea of 'trouble' really is one of making sure there is 'unrest' - the lack of some form of stillness or rest. When we sense "trouble" coming our way, or having already arrived on our doorsteps, we have the sense that our mental "calm" is being attacked. We just begin to "feel" the stress of the "trouble" bringing a lack of peace, working on our pleasant state of contentment we had come to enjoy so much. Here's what I have learned: We don't need to open the door! Trouble only has access to our mental state when we "open the door" to it!

If we leave someone on the doorstep of our home, they don't have the ability to create havoc on those of us on the inside! Oh, they can keep pounding on the door, trying to gain access, but in a while, their continual efforts will prove only to have created a little unwanted "noise" in our lives! It is much easier to filter out the "noise" of trouble than to deal with the "setting right" of the mental anguish it creates! Some of us just need to apply a few more filters when around those who would like nothing more than to disturb our contentment. How do we "not open the door" to trouble's play on our minds? In moments when we are feeling like we are beginning to "wind up" or "lose our peace", we need to pull into those things that "re-create" peace in our lives. I find the times I spend in the Word, listening to good music, and reflecting on God's care over my life as "peace-producing". You may just find the effort of keeping the door "closed" to the mental anguish of trouble is easiest when you are listening to the voice of God's peace-producing Spirit!

When we find "trouble" in our circumstances, there comes a moment when we begin to feel the "stress" of the trouble. Stress serves a purpose in our lives, but only when it is recognized and utilized to full advantage! That which is stressed is that which can be proven strong. If we embrace trouble's distress - the punishment it wishes to inflict on our lives - we probably have not gone to God for his "de-stressing" in our lives! Trouble works hard to agitate our calm. In the disturbance of our calm, "muck and mire" is allowed to bubble to the surface. Sometimes this is not a bad thing because exposure of what has "settled" into the recesses of our mind or emotions can actually be a benefit. In the discovery of what lays hidden below, we often can be released from those things. Water is actually "filtered" through an "agitation" process. If you ever were in the scouts, military, or just hiked/camped a lot, someone told you about drinking from the fast moving streams, not the slow, lolly-gagging ones. Why? Water in the fast-moving stream was "freer" of impurities! So, agitation serves a purpose! Embraced for its designed purpose, there is a benefit to the agitation of trouble! Just sayin!

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