In a deep and profound sense, trouble and problems are the very best thing that could happen to us. It is rare in my experience to have anyone give thanks for their trouble at the time it is happening. Most of us have been conditioned to move toward being freed of all our distresses and our troubles and ills. Many hymns have been sung to this kind of theme. Every form of life we know is a struggle. Genuine joy comes only from successful struggle, moving through suffering to come out enlarged and refined. So let us learn to give thanks for our trouble!
Phil Sweet is a long-time friend of UUFDC, and a marvelous and insightful story-teller. He served as minister of Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay and two rural churches in western Minnesota.