Untouched by Trouble

Our lives on this fallen earth will never be free from trouble. But the Proverb writer says we can rest content, untouched by the trials and heartaches of our circumstances. It’s another of those unfathomable truths of faith: we are held through the storms in ways we can never fully articulate or explain.

The fear of the Lord leads to life. Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23

Proverbs 19:23 is the memory verse that goes along with this month’s Prayers for Girls calendar. I have it written on an index card propped up on my desk where I have my quiet time and study to teach and even occasionally blog. That word, content, it gets me every time. This is my great battle: to be satisfied with what the Lord has given me. More, different, other — my heart and mind drift that direction far more often than I’d ever really want you to know. Those ugly bents toward comparison and competition rear their heads regularly around here.

A couple of days ago I shared this image on Instagram:

Then came the horrific news this morning that the search for the twelve missing Marines has been suspended. I have small connections with two of the twelve families involved and my heart just aches. I looked at those last three words … “untouched by trouble.” What does that mean? How is it that we experience life through Him and learn to be content in Him and yet the brokenness and heartache of this world still wind their way into our lives?

Trouble will come.  We know that. Jesus told us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take hart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Our lives on this fallen earth will never be free from trouble. But the Proverb writer says we can rest content, untouched by the trials and heartaches of our circumstances. It’s another of those unfathomable truths of faith: we are held through the storms in ways we can never fully articulate or explain.

We are held through the storms in ways we can never fully articulate or explain. Click To Tweet

I can’t imagine the depth of loss the families of these Marines are facing. I can’t comprehend the struggle to move through the day and manage children and hold back the tears … because I feel that lump in my throat every time I see a post on Facebook or a clip on the news and I know it is nothing in comparison to what these families are experiencing.

Holy God, we are lost in the waves of uncertainty and filled with swells of grief. We cannot fathom the depths of grief these families face nor can we grasp the weight of all they have lost. And yet, even here, even in this day of grief and heartache, we cry out to You, the Sovereign God, who carries our burdens and captures our tears. We beg You to wrap these broken hearts in Your perfect love and cover them with Your wings of comfort and grace. Use us, O Lord, to be vessels of light in these dark days. We cannot begin to understand what has happened but we choose to trust Your goodness and Your faithfulness even now. Grant us hope, Lord, and give us peace in You alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

My prayers feel small and inadequate. My headache from the crazy weather pales in contrast to the heartache of babies who will grow up without daddies, of newlywed wives who are now widows. And yet, in all of this, I find a glimmer of hope in those words, “untouched by trouble.” There is HOPE … always hope.  Kris, my dear friend who is far more eloquent with words than I shall ever be, shared from the barest places of her heart this morning:

The silver lining I’m looking for isn’t the possibility of a positive circumstance, but the ever-present person of Jesus Christ. Even in the folds of despair His presence still shines. This morning, the words of Zechariah called we who believe, “prisoners of hope”.

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope. (Zechariah 10:12)

These words arrest me. What is a prisoner, but someone confined or kept in the custody of another. God keeps us in His custody, we are confined by the Holy.

When the weight of hopelessness presses in, when fear and doubt and trepidation wrack our hearts, we are told to return to our place of strength, our place of refuge and protection–to be kept in the custody of the ONE who is Hope.

How do we find ourselves untouched by trouble? What keeps us from drowning in the waves of sorrow and suffering and tragedy and hopelessness? In that first sentence of Proverbs,

The fear of the Lord leads to life.

We rest in His sovereignty and His love. We trust in His providence and His plan. And we lean into the hope we have in Him, our anchor in times of trouble. He is all we have and He is all we need.

Join me in prayer for the families of these great men …

  • Maj. Shawn M. Campbell {married with four children and the brother of a writer I greatly admire, Christie Purifoy}
  • Capt. Brian T. Kennedy
  • Capt. Kevin Roche
  • Capt. Steven R. Torbert {married with a baby. His parents are members of my parents’ Sunday school class at church.}
  • Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina
  • Capt. Adam G. Schoeller {married just this past July 4}
  • Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler
  • Sgt. William J. Turner {married just this past spring}
  • Cpl. Matthew R. Drown
  • Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas
  • Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando
  • Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart {married just six months ago}

Holy God, we are lost in the waves of uncertainty and filled with swells of grief. We cannot fathom the depths of grief these families face nor can we grasp the weight of all they have lost. And yet, even here, even in this day of grief and heartache, we cry out to You, the Sovereign God, who carries our burdens and captures our tears. We beg You to wrap these broken hearts in Your perfect love and cover them with Your wings of comfort and grace. Use us, O Lord, to be vessels of light in these dark days. We cannot begin to understand what has happened but we choose to trust Your goodness and Your faithfulness even now. Grant us hope, Lord, and give us peace in You alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Replies to “Untouched by Trouble”

  1. I only follow a select few blogs, but yours is one of them. Your compassion and love is so geniune and humble. Your beautiful prayer eloquently said all the things we all feel but may not be able to verse as well as you. I read it, then prayed it outloud, for it said all the things I too felt in my heart. I thank the Lord for you Teri.

    Ms Linda Darlene

    1. You are kind, Ms. Linda, and I deeply appreciate your words of encouragement. xo, Teri Lynne

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