Yet I Will Rejoice
by Judy Webb
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." (verses 17-18)
These verses from Habakkuk make me stop and think and then question my own faith. If everything fell apart in my life and pain surrounded me, would I, could I, praise God for who he is? Sure, I've survived difficulties, we all have. I've experienced the pain of losing a husband. I've failed at a business venture, lost a friend to deception and more, but these things all happened one at a time, with lots of space in between.
It is the space in between that makes the difference. When I have time to recoup or regroup, I can deal with it. When there is a season for healing and lots of occasion to talk things out, my faith stayed intact. I did not lose my belief in Jesus and His love. I believe it grew stronger during those times of pain and defeat.
I've not had to deal with an explosion of losses at one time. I can't declare with confidence, that I would stand strong if I lost everything - like Job - in one swift moment. Now, I don't want to be tested in this, but I do wonder just how strong my faith is. Maybe you are as unsure as I. Maybe you too, feel inadequate to be tested in this.
I encourage you to use these words from Habakkuk, and others like them, not to beat yourself up for a possible weakness, but rejoice in them. Use these words as a goal, as a place to grow into. God uses all our happenings, good and bad, to mature and strengthen us. Praise God in this moment and for this moment.
When reading from the book of Daniel, I remember being so struck by the words of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when the king doubted their ability to remain faithful to their God when faced with the raging fire. “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us…but even if he does not…we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)
If it came right down to it, I choose to believe that I will stand strong, that the faith you have instilled in me and used to reach others for your sake, will be just what it needs to be at that moment. Amen