Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When these words aren't true

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.
        Habakkuk 3:17-18 ESV

These verses express an unwavering confidence and hope founded upon a faith and life fully satisfied in a Holy, Loving, and intimately known God.

Beautiful words. Inspirational and filled with hope, but what if you can't say them. What if it would all be a lie?

That sinking, hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach is the result of your sudden awareness that you and Habakkuk aren't in that same sweet place. Your fig tree hasn't blossomed and the fruitless vine is simply more than you can bear. The continual experience of loss is overwhelming and the thought of rejoicing in anything is inconceivable.

How can I feel this way? How can I be this wrong?

The Psalmist in chapter 43 speaks of these feelings. Reading his words, I sense his disappointment in himself for his lack of faith and contentment. His joy has been trampled by life's circumstances, when his joy should be wholly in God. How can his affections be set aright.

The Psalmist reminds himself of God's faithfulness and that the darkness that currently engulfs him, will one day pass.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
(Psalm 43:5 ESV)

These dark times overtake us all from time to time. Some more often than others.

So what do we do?

Keep going. Keep praying. Keep praising. Keep your Bible open. Keep believing. At times it may feel forced, and very well may be, but do it anyway. Our faith doesn't rest in feelings, but in the Son of God in whom we place our faith. Knowledge is of greater importance than feeling. We are to do as we know, not as we feel.

Now, I know how this sounds. "Just keep going!" Sometimes the despair is so great that "going on," is exactly what you don't want to do. When you find yourself this low, allow those who love you to... love you. And know that God is faithful. And that this too shall pass.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
(Psalm 43:5 ESV)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin