“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
That word stands out to me in those verses above.
So many things were going wrong in this passage, disaster after disaster. They had every right to complain, to be down casted, according to the world’s standards. And yet…there’s that word. Yet. Yet I will praise You, O God of my salvation. I don’t know how he managed to utter those words when everything around him seemed hopeless. But maybe that’s just it – Habbaukkuk rose above his circumstances, through God’s strength. He looked at everything that was wrong around him, but he didn’t blame God or be broken down by despair. In fact, he didn’t even let himself stay where he was, neutral or nonfeeling, like could have. In the circumstances he described, it would have been easy enough to just shut down, or go into denial. To lose all hope.
But he didn’t. He decided to pick himself out of that mud and rise above it – to let God bring him to walk upon his high places, and say to the Lord that he trusts Him. No matter what. No matter how terrible things are, he will trust his Savior and praise Him through it all.
That is hard. But it is a choice.
Just the other week, I was faced with that choice too. My family and I were about to set off for a fun day. We had food, our ‘herd’ were in their stalls, grapes were on the vines (metaphorically); we had lots to be thankful for. But I was having horrendous sensory issues that morning. The tears were uncontrollable, I couldn’t stand what I had on, and I was stressed over ruining the fun we had planned. We had to leave in less than half an hour, and I was still sobbing.
My dear mother encouraged me to go up to my room and seek Jesus. Even just for the 10-15 mins before we had to leave.
As I sat in my room, I cried and poured out my heart to God, expressing myself to Him that I didn’t want to be uncomfortable, I wanted to have fun today. I wanted my clothing to feel fine so I could enjoy the day.
I opened my “Jesus Today” to the “randomly” picked devotional, and one of the verses shared was:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
The devotional went on to say how we are so strongly inclined to lean on our own understanding and that mindset dies hard. But the truth is, we can’t understand His ways with us. He is infinite. Thankfully we can rest assured that He has our best interests at heart.
I continued to pray and listen, and was just utterly hit with the reminder that Satan is a thief. He was doing his utmost best to keep me thinking on my clothing, keep me focused on the worry that I wouldn’t have a good day unless I was comfortable. He was trying to steal my joy. And I was letting him. Until I said NO. He’s an expert thief who comes in unannounced, but oh so present. I read the verses I had on my wall, each pouring into me the strength of Jesus, of His Word, and His promises. I verbally told Satan, “No” through tears. I had to repeat it over and over, “You will not steal my joy today. You will not ruin my day just because I hate my clothes. No.”
We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)
I hated my clothing. But because of Jesus, I could rise above that. I could employ the ‘yet factor’.
These clothing pieces may feel awful and they may needle me, but YET I will trust in God. I will give this day back into HIS hands, because isn’t that where it starts?
“Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mat 6:33
I was so focused on my clothing and my comfort because I wanted to have a good day. But a good day is not dependent on whether or not I am comfortable. A good day is not dependent on the circumstances around us. A day is good because it’s from Him and has been submitted into His hands, for His glory.
So as we left the house that morning, I continued to repeat the verse “We are more than conquerors” and I did end up having a very good day. Because I took my focus off the thief and his pursuits, and put them on my Savior.
Yet I will praise You.
This song is a beautiful one with lyrics that correlate with this post.