5/13/08

Runs Like A Deer[e]!

"Though the fig tree does not blossom
and there is no fruit on the vines,
[though] the product of the olive fails
and the fields yield no food,
though the flock is cut off from the fold
and there are no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights."
Habakkuk 3:17-19 [The Amplified Bible]

I can't say that I've ever become despondent over fruitless vines and empty fig tree branches, or that I'm particularly offended that I have no cattle in the stalls, but I'm very well acquainted with the low times. Do you know that valley? The one where certain catastrophe looms over your head and clouds your soul? I do. I passed through it not so long ago; I can still feel the chill of the darkness behind me. I know, without a doubt, that Jesus was the only reason I had the strength to keep going.

Yep. I know where my Help comes from!

Still, when He reminded me that I am carried on His wings via Habakkuk's song, it took awhile for me to apply it to me.

I'm not always the quickest brown fox to jump. Don't judge me. ;o)

So when I read the passage recently, I scribbled a few quick notes, intending to come back to it at some point in the hazy, distant future. I even scribbled verse 18 on the bathroom mirror for my roomie one morning in place of the usual good morning wishes, silly pictures, and funny quotes. [Why yes - yes I am a note-leaving nerd!]

I decided to revisit the passage today, since I overslept to an emergency state - you know, where I jumped out of bed at a dead run and kept up the frantic pace until I got to my desk at the office [if you think that's a funny image, imagine what my hair looked like. *grin*] and I knew that it'd be good fodder for this sheep.

I was into my 3rd translation of the passage when it was time for staff meeting [Sssshh! Don't tell my boss, or I'll blog on you! ;oP] where Pastor shares a scripture with us, we pray, then we talk about important things, like world peace and cheerios [ok, maybe not those important things] and then scatter to our respective desks to accomplish everything we should have already been working on.

Pastor opened his Bible and said "Habakkuk. Chapter 3."

I closed my eyes and whispered "Ok, Jesus. I receive it. Goodness. I'm none too swift, huh? Thanks for still reaching out to me."

I never really read past the 'rejoice in the tough times' part in verse 18. Rejoicing in the Lord is absolutely vital to surviving difficulties, it's true. Job endured hell on earth, and when it was over, he was blessed because he continued to praise Jehovah. But I already know that part.

Sometimes, though, at the lowest, darkest point of the valley of the shadows, we simply need to be reminded that He is sovereign. His strength is available for us to lean into, as soon as we ask. He promises that His power will propel our feet as we travel that lonely path, and He assures us that He will lift us to the high places.

Maybe not today. Today, we might still be running through the valley. It's exhausting, yes - but our strength doesn't come from us, and the promise of a mountain just ahead is worth the journey.


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[the alohilana blog] by R. Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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