Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Habakkuk Revisited

My last entry was on 9/11 and, as is the usual start to each entry, I began with a verse I found appropriate. The verse I choose for that day was Habakkuk 3:16-19 and it seemed to capture the reality of September 11 accurately. Oddly enough, I have not been able to escape those verses since that post. I am literally meditating on them daily and I so I feel the need to stop and re-examine them once more. I will post them again, this time beginning in verse 17.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

What thoughts did you have as you read and finished the scripture? I was transported back to several times in my life when my soul cried these very words even though I wasn’t aware of the scripture. I believe that this is the place that the Lord needs to take you to so that he can begin to use you for the purpose you were created. I heard a pastor say once ‘In order for the Lord to use you greatly, he must first break you greatly’. I believe that if you are a child of God, He will break you and if you withstand the hurt, your soul will cry the words of Habakkuk.

I do not know of one person that wishes pain, fear or turmoil on themselves. I also do not know of one person who has not experienced it at some point. Hard times are a fact a life; there is nothing we can do to avoid it if we live long enough. The ‘experience’ has to be so bad that there seems to be no earthly escape to cry the words of Habakkuk and mean them with all your heart.

Do you know why Habakkuk could rejoice in the Lord? Do you have any clue why he was joyful and found strength in the Lord? He knew Peace. How many times have we prayed that God would give someone the peace that passes all understanding? We sometimes throw that around very nonchalantly without realizing the power in its reality.

I have been at the bottom, have you? Who was there? Sure, there was someone there physically – your parents, children, friends or a spouse, but who was there to pick you up? None of those people, not if you were at the bottom. There is only one person who is there to pick you up and you know he is there because of Peace. Peace lifts your eyes first then your head. Peace brings you to your knees and then your feet. Peace gives you strength lift your hands and then Peace slowly but surely pulls you up.

Your situation may be the same, but Peace has given you a new set of glasses to see through. It’s a hard fight to get those glasses, but what a view. You turn around and look where you were and you never want to go there again, but you wouldn’t change it if you could. This is the sweet spot. You can’t imagine it until God has brought you here, but He will bring you. He will make you surefooted and you will rejoice in Him.

I have been through the valley and I have stood on the mountain. If I live long enough, I will experience both again. I like the mountain much, much more than the valley. It is the valley, however, that has given me strength. It is the valley that has prepared me for my purpose. Do I know what my purpose is? No. Maybe I will find out tomorrow, maybe not. Perhaps I will just live it and never realize it. Regardless, I don’t want to miss it. I have been and am being prepared for it, so are you. Life is good, but life is hard. I will rejoice in the Lord because he is sovereign and is my strength.

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