I don’t know why troubles come two or three at once but they do. We would rather have one problem at a time so we can catch our breath before the next crisis arrives. But life is not that simple. We sometimes have several health issues and think there is one cause of all of them. Then the doctor tells us that we actually have two or three things wrong. We hear that one person died and within a day or so we hear of someone else. Sometimes we may wonder if it is more than a superstition that “deaths come in threes.” But such is life.
If anyone ever experienced this harsh reality it was Job. One day he got one piece of bad news right after the other:
Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” (Job 1:13-19).
Satan brought all this on Job the same day. We say when it rains it pours, but in Job’s case it came a flood.
We complain, “I have enough to deal with already!” The devil doesn’t care. In fact, he sees your hurt as an opportunity to drop a cluster bomb in the midst of your secure and happy life.
Sure, it would be easier if God scheduled our trials on different days. But that is the point. Trials are not supposed to be easy. They are designed to test our faith right down to the very core of our soul. We may have to fight the good fight of faith on several fronts—marriage trouble, sickness, money problems, church division, national chaos, family conflict, or death. One of these is almost enough to drive us crazy, but two or three seem unbearable.
But the situation for the child of God is not hopeless. We may say, “I don’t know how much more I can take.” God does. The truth is that we can often shoulder a heavier load than we think. We can actually grow stronger in the midst of the fires of tribulation on every hand. Trials produce patience (James 1:3). They don’t last forever. If we learn to patiently endure, God will give us rest and strength (Isa. 40:30-31). Things have a way of calming down for a while. Life is not all bad or all good. There will always be good days and bad days (Ecc. 3:1-8; 7:14). Instead of getting down in times when everything seems to go wrong, let us set our minds on heaven where everything will always be right.