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For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Perhaps you have heard someone talk about a snafu. You probably realized that this meant something had gone wrong, but you may not know how the word became a part of our English language. In reality, snafu is the first letter of each word in the phrase, "Situation normal, all fouled up." In other words, when something goes wrong, why be surprised? It's only normal for things to get fouled up. A snafu is something that can be expected. It's just a part of life.

Job's circumstances, of course, predate the word snafu but not the idea behind it. Job's friend Eliphaz recognized that "trouble" and "man" have a natural affinity for one another. As sparks from a fire are drawn upward by the rising heat, so trouble seems naturally drawn to man. It reflects another adage of our time: "If something can go wrong, it will." No matter when or where you live, snafus are going to find you.

Christians are sometimes dismayed when things go wrong in their lives. After all, when we trusted Jesus as our Savior, our troubles were supposed to be over, right? Yet the truth is much different. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33). That's just a normal part of living. The apostle Peter even said, "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you" (1 Pet. 4:12). Snafus are not strange or out of the ordinary, even for Christians.

Perhaps you are experiencing a snafu today. Something you planned is fouled up. Don't be surprised. Instead, turn to God. When your life goes contrary to your expectations, He is able to give you either the wisdom to deal with it or the grace to live with it. Trust Him.

When trouble draws close, draw close to God.

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