If you are like me, you have experienced the whiplash effect of disappointment before. Maybe what we have in common is that you’ve been hurt by someone that claimed they love you. Or maybe it’s that what you were convinced would work, did not. Or could it be the plans you had, plans that you prayed and fasted about, but the outcome was not as expected.
Yesterday, I was reminded of a snippet of Habakkuk’s prayer —
Though the fig tree does not blossom And there is no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive fails And the fields produce no food, Though the flock is cut off from the fold And there are no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the LORD; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! Habakkuk 3:17-18
Like Habakkuk, and many others in the Bible, I have had to encourage myself in the Lord more times than I can count. I have been the hysterical child, with tears streaming down my face, and bloodshot eyes, asking God, why? I have been one to question His love when I felt alone. I have been one to slam the door, and sulk in the corner. However, in the seasons that had my back against the wall, with no visible way out, I have bared my soul to Him, expressing the ugly feelings and emotions typically banned in the presence of royalty. In those moments, I am not concerned about being articulate, or sounding smart, the words just barrel out, feeling something like ripples of thunder coursing through me in rapid succession. Then I begin to see snapshots of God as described in the Bible, then Him as revealed and seen in my life, and in the lives of others. Right then my focus shifts, as does the tone of my prayer, as does my posture. Suddenly, I am filled with hope and expectation, and right then I take in a deep breath, almost to the point I feel my lungs may burst, and then slowly breathe out. Surrender.
God do you even hear me? God have you forgotten me? God why me? Do those questions sound familiar? It’s okay, it doesn’t make you any less Christian. C.S. Lewis said this, I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more. This sounds like something I would say to a friend. My therapist self is also screaming YES! However, I also know that sound advise is easier given than owned.
Why do we bite our tongue with God? Have you been told that God doesn’t care about the small things?or that your problems are small in comparison to the next person? Think about it, who best to go to about the confusion, hurt, disappointment, anxiety, depressed feelings than Him? Yes, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to build each other up. But the creator is above his creation, and so it is imperative that we seek Him first. He is not afraid of our burdens. In fact, He would rather carry them, than see us bowed over, struggling.
Habakkuk did not ignore the issues. He was well aware that certain things were not working. What he hoped would bloom seemed to be dying. He listed all the problems, not in defeat, but to say all these things, yet God. The one who is the truth, way and life. The one who makes a way in impossible situations. In the midst of all that was not happening, He remembered His God. So like Habakkuk, I may feel tired, disgruntled, unsure, maybe even angry and afraid. “Yet I will praise Him.”
Can I encourage you to boldly enter into his gates with thanksgiving? Even if you do not have the strength to muster thank you. Use up the strength you do have to come into His presence, and drop at His feet. Can I encourage you to bare your soul — deepest hurts and fears, even the sin to Him? Can I encourage you to surrender?
I pray that today, you will taste and see that God is good. I pray that this week, you will experience the never ending depths of His love for you. I pray that you walk with Him in your going and coming. I pray that His peace washes over you today. Please know that God is not repulsed by your broken pieces and filthy rags. Also, He could care less about your diction. He wants you, He cares about you and He loves you, and that’s on Jesus.
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