This morning my reading was in Habakkuk.
A short book and the devotion that accompanied my reading suggested taking time to read the whole thing, so I did.
This minor prophet is asking God why He is allowing what is evil to overtake the people who belong to Him and God answers.
He has raised up an enemy army who will storm in and He is allowing a big mess to come to fruition because the people have made choices and decision and set a course outside of His will and so He is letting them live the consequences.
And if you think that sounds like God is unfair and unkind and mean and vengeful…remember the times you heard your parents say or have now said to your own little rebel something to the effect of ….
“You have made your bed, now lie in it”…
and you wished with all your heart they had chosen differently and you cry hot tears watching them suffer…
but for the love of their souls, you let them reap what they sowed so they hopefully will learn a lesson and choose right the next time….
and then ask if God is unkind.
Habakkuk asks God why and he listens to God’s answer.
Like many of the prophets, the suffering Habakkuk was enduring was because of corporate disobedience of God’s people. The punishment was not necessarily his own actions, but because he identified himself with those who belong to the Lord, he accepted the consequences as his own.
And he lands on this beautiful verse to close out the book:
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off form the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls – Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.Habakkuk 3:17-18
The writer of the accompanying devotion in my study this morning suggested writing out that verse by adding your only “even if’s.”
I did it and they were so personal, I didn’t even use my pen to record them.
In pure fellowship and communion with my Savior, I simply said …
Even if…and I named off the things that are my deepest hopes…
Even if…this thing…that thing…
bears no fruit
is completely void of a yes from You
I will choose to rejoice in the LORD
I will take JOY in the God who saved me <3
He is worthy of our praise whether things are as we hoped they would be or not.
He is worthy of our praise when we are being disciplined, corrected, or redirected.
He is worthy of our praise whether our circumstances are great or alarming.
The choices that led us to consequences, whether ours or someone else’s, may be out of our control…but the choice to say…Yet…Yet, I will rejoice in You..no matter what…that is all on us.
How will we choose today?