it's ten others! That's what my sister Kathy said in response to the news that our brother had a mini-stroke last week. Oh dear. This is the same brother whose son shattered his wrist and broke his back several weeks ago. He fell off a cliff where there used to be a bridge. The bright side is he's going to be okay -- could have been so much worse! The dark side, he's 18, out of high school, but not enrolled in college yet. He's no longer covered under his parents' health insurance. Can you say, financial nightmare?
That's three calamities, which I could make into four or five by adding that my brother is a comedian -- Let's see...mini stroke? Couldn't that possibly affect his ability to pull the right word to the tip of his tongue at the right time? His livelihood depends on using words, firing them off, making people laugh. It's his talent, his gift, and he does it well. What will happen if he can't do that for a while, or ever again? (Okay, now I'm just borrowing trouble. Instead I'll make my list of 10 things and then put this season of trouble to rest.)
My mom had a scare from her latest CAT scan. The bright side -- it was just that, a scare, no cancer.
Dad is having a bout with kidney stones, and he's not seeing any bright side to that. But a scan that he had shows possible bladder tumors. If that turns out to be the case, the bright side is this: they found them and will most likely be able to treat them before anything is life threatening.
All this may keep Mom and Dad from coming north for Dad's 60th high school class reunion. It will be hugely disappointing for him to miss that. No bright side there.
Two of my nephews live in California. One of them can see smoke from the wild fires raging nearby. (Maybe they both can, but I've only heard from one.) The bright side is they don't live where the fires are.
My daughter-in-law is suffering from morning sickness. (I just sneaked that in to say...we're getting another grandchild in March!) But still, it isn't fun for her right now, the being sick part.
So, if it's not one thing it's ten others. That seems to be how life is. Does trouble come from God or from being part of a fallen, sin-filled world? I believe it's the latter. But even if it does come from God, the God who gives us so many wonderful things to enjoy, I hope I can always say, as Job did, "Shall we accept good things from God and not trouble?"
Accept it or not, it's a fact of life..."In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer," Jesus said, "I have overcome the world."