Devotion in Motion: Problems and troubles

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”


My Uncle Joe always told me there’s a difference between “problems” and “troubles.” He said a problem was something you could work on solving; you could sit down and think about your problem and make some kind of plan, and probably things would get better. However, troubles were a different matter altogether. You can’t make a plan to do away with your troubles. You just have to live with them.

This past weekend I helped conduct the funeral of the 11-year-old son of some dear friends of our family. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at school from undiagnosed leukemia—without having shown any prior symptoms of being seriously ill. For all of the ones who loved him, this tragic ordeal fits squarely into the category of things that can’t be solved in this life. The only thing that’s going to fix this situation is what Christians affirm when they the recite the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”

That being said, in the midst of this present tragedy I have once again been made aware of the power of prayer. Throughout the past week I have received word of hundreds of people who are praying on our behalf. And through it all I have felt the presence of an underlying strength that is under-girding us all. It makes me think of that beautiful memory verse from the Old Testament: “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)

I’ve heard that there’s a sign hanging on the wall at NASA that says, “Prayers help every undertaking—even if they are of the ‘wrong denomination.’” I believe that with all my heart. When we pray (and get others to pray for us) we receive strength and comfort from Almighty God. He leads and provides to help us solve our problems. He strengthens and comforts to help us bear our troubles.

Dear mamas, whatever the situation, pray, pray, and then pray some more. Pray for others, and ask others to pray for you. The old adage is right; “Prayer moves the hands of God.”

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (which is a great church to “get praying” for you when you have problems or troubles.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to