I will rejoice
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; 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! | Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT)
If you visit my allotment between the month of May and August you will see - at least on neighbouring plots! - many different sights that confirm that you are in a place where growth is happening. If you return in January, you could be forgiven for thinking the allotment site was little more than a wasteland. The place where life and vitality had been evidenced in abundance becomes desolate looking. It’s hard to see signs of life, it’s hard to discern growth and health.
Life can feel the same at times, can’t it? We know seasons in our own lives where there’s abundant evidence of life and growth. Our “flower beds“ are full of blossom and bloom, and the crop, as it were, is plentiful.
However, unless you’re from another planet, you’ll likely know that there are seasons quite the opposite to this.
Seasons where there is no sign of life and where fruitfulness feels a million miles away. This was what the prophet Habakkuk experienced. As he surveyed the landscape, things looked bleak. Poetically, he describes futility and frustration; the unshakeable reality that all is not well - things are not as they ought to be.
Nonetheless, despite the lengthy list of reasons for dismay, despite the plethora of factors to cause frustration or a feeling of being fed up, the Prophet lands on a ‘yet‘.
His recollection and therefore his declaration was that despite what his senses revealed, God was still worthy to be praised, and so he would indeed praise Him.
Isn’t it fascinating that Habakkuk did not determine God’s praiseworthiness based on the evidence of blessing or abundance in his life, but rooted his response in the known character of God? How much of a challenge does this pose to us?
Whatever is going on in life and whatever struggles and signs that things ‘aren’t quite right’ you’re facing, today you have a choice: To rejoice in God, or to be silenced by your circumstances.
Lift your eyes, and lift your voice, for God is as worthy to be praised today as He has ever been.