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Centering Words:

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

“Though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food: …yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”

 

From Phillip Catterton (Kansas)

 

 

Farmers labor to ensure that their toil will be rewarded, that their families and communities will be well nourished.  Yet no matter how diligent the laborer, sometimes crops will fail.  All farmers, all prophets, and all people face circumstances beyond their control.

The book of Habakkuk was written in the midst of a difficult season in Israel’s history – the Assyrians attacking them and the Babylonian conquest looming.  In the first two chapters of Habakkuk, we find the prophet struggling, in prayer, with these difficult issues.  At times, he even questioned God.  In the end, Habakkuk chose to worship the Lord and found joy in God’s holy presence instead of in his circumstances.  

I can relate.  I have applied for jobs I didn’t get, tried my best at relationships that did not work out, and poured all my strength into ministry only to see my dreams go unfulfilled, for a time.  I have learned that if our joy is found in results, or our present circumstances, then we will continually second-guess ourselves and face deep frustration.  But if our strength and hope are in the Lord, then even in a barren season, we will be able to follow Habakkuk’s example and worship God with joy.

 

Prayer: Dear Father, give us the perspective and the faith to praise you in the barren seasons of life.  Amen.

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From “The Upper Room” where the world meets to pray