i opened my Bible to read in the book of habakkuk this morning after my husband made me his homemade iced cappuccino concoction [such a barista]. i love this book of the Bible. it is only three chapters long but consists of so much. in bethany’s layman’s terms, habakkuk is an old testament prophet who was in the midst of a spiritual struggle to understand why God would allow His people to experience such hardships and defeats in the midst of the rise of the Chaldean empire. he questions how the Lord uses evil & struggles for His Good and Glory. the Lord responds to him in a vision by saying that although we may not know why and how things are going to work out, we are called to hope, waiting with confidence in the Lord’s fulfillment of His unfailing promise. meaning, he didn’t fully give habakkuk the whole picture of what He was doing but that habakkuk was called to trust. so habakkuk, being human and dumb, questions the Lord again. the Lord, in His Grace, answers him once more. and then habakkuk’s revelation from the Lord stirs in him a heart of joy and praise to the Lord.
here i read, and reread, these verses this morning: “though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength..” habakkuk 3:17-19a.
this month i have not seen fig trees in blossom. and definitely limited fruit on the vines in my life. in the midst of a chaotic work schedule and my never-ending struggle to make people happy [in other words, my flesh-driven battle to find my identity in the acceptance of clients and friends], God has stripped away the security of my “summer wedding season” and my “content and happy” clients. he has replaced these things with other things that have caused me to have to stop. although i cannot go into everything that has been going on in the past four weeks, i can say that i am on the mend and that God has used a time of restoration in my life for His purpose. i have heard him speak louder and clearer these past few weeks than i have in a long time.
in his genuine love for me, he has been pricking the thorns out of my life. all because he loves me. it hurts. it hurts so much at times. but like habakkuk, i don’t always understand or know why God uses the hardships (like unforseen medical issues) to remind me that i have been misplacing my trust in myself rather than the God who is my only Strength. He is calling me to rejoice in Him for He is my joy.
below are some photos i took during a few days away in the mountains last week.