Habakkuk 3:17-19 (The Message)
Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen.
Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted.
Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty.
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Saviour God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
I feel like I’m king of the mountain!
In the last few weeks and months global events have brought worry and concern to people everywhere. Terrorist incidents, unprecedented floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, threats of war, political instabilities, famines – in fact Jesus warned His disciples about such things in Matthew 24. But my Bible reading notes have taken me to Habakkuk for the past two months, in a review of what the prophet and his society were facing around 600 BC. Then as now, global ‘powers’ put their trust in their own strength. Then as now, world events were out of control, driven by sin. But God revealed to Habakkuk what He was going to do and, although initially devastated, Habakkuk came to a point where he wrote the text above. There has never been a point in history when there has not been some catastrophe happening somewhere in the world, so it is extremely comforting to know that God is in control of everything; always has been, and always will be. He may not act in the way we would like Him to, but ultimately His righteousness, justice and holiness will prevail. So can we write our own verses, in the style of the Message? Here’s my attempt:
Though terrorists kill and maim, and peoples everywhere “do what is right in their own eyes”;
Though world weather patterns become more extreme, and earthquakes and floods become more common;
Though our churches decline in numbers, and Christians fall away from their faith;
Though our government continues to marginalise Christians by more and more secular legislation, and our schools increasingly promote wrong values about sexuality and morality, and confuse and defile our children;
Though our hospitals and clinics continue to murder countless unborn children with society’s blessing, and that same society wrings its hands when a child dies following abuse.
I will trust in Father God, comforted that He has everything under His control.
I will lift up my hands and heart to Him, praising His wonderful love and grace.
I will rest in worship, meditating on His glorious presence.
I will never stop thanking Him for His Spirit in the lives of my family and friends.
I can jump into His presence whenever events threaten and depress.
I will pray that His rule and kingdom will prevail over all else.
I will not be afraid of anything coming my way, secure in His protection.
I can offer Him grateful thanks for each day, each breath, each heart beat.
I can look into eternity, overwhelmed by what is to come.
Words cannot express adequately what is inside me, but God knows. Can you join me in writing your own verses?