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Troubles

From Psalms 9–10

Loen Valley, Norway

What brings you to counseling? The answer I wrote in the blank: PTSD.


And that was true. I’d experienced a boating accident just a few years prior—one that kept me in a wheelchair for months and nearly took my life. So even after I could walk again, even three years after that initial check-in to Strong’s hospital in July 2010, I broke into a sweat every time I entered a doctor’s office. I knew I needed to sort out whatever was happening in my mind, and counseling seemed like a good place to start.


Here’s what I didn’t know: I needed counseling for way more than post-traumatic stress. In the course of twentyish sessions, we talked about my accident maybe twice. But we talked a lot about why I carried around so much anxiety—What’s causing it? How does it affect you? How often? How can you begin to let some of it go?


All I can say is, thank goodness for my PTSD. That opened the door for me to work on things I’d carried far longer, like chronic anxiety and crippling perfectionism.

“Wicked people will go to the grave, and so will all those who forget God. But those who have troubles will not be forgotten” (Psalm 9:17-18 NCV).

I read this verse this week and thought, Why? Why are “those who have troubles” not forgotten? (And we can assume this means “not forgotten” by God—see vv. 9–10.) I realized, the first sentence explains the second. Those who “forget God” are those forgotten. And those with “no troubles” are those who forget God.


Are you with me?


No troubles > forget God > forgotten by God


So all I can say is, thank goodness for my troubles. Thank goodness for the hard seasons, the questions, the pain in my life that has “made room” for God—that’s the way the New Century Version phrases it:

“The wicked people are too proud. They do not look for God; there is no room for God in their thoughts" (10:4).

On the other hand, people willing to face their troubles with open eyes and a soft heart do make room for God. They make room for Him in their schedules, spending time searching for answers in His Word. They make room for Him in their hearts, inviting Him in and trusting Him to bring love and comfort. They make room for Him in their thoughts, allowing His truths to take hold, and grow, and bloom.

Troubles > go to God > remembered & rescued

“The Lord defends those who suffer; he defends them in times of trouble. Those who know the Lord trust him, because he will not leave those who come to him” (9:9).

I wouldn’t wish my accident on any one of you. But neither would I wish it away for me. It opened the door for me to seek counsel and to heal in ways I wouldn’t have guessed. Maybe your troubles can do the same. Maybe, if you let them steer you toward God and help and hope, you’ll find that one trouble paved the way for you to face—and overcome—a much deeper, more troublesome trouble than the one you’d write in the blank today.


Either way, I guarantee this: going to God paves the way for your rescue.


Hopefully yours,




Next Week’s Reading: Psalm 11–17.

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