Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stall yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 17-18) NIV
Oh, how easy it can be to focus on myself, and all I have lost in the past five years. How easy to feel bitter about the twists and turns of my life. When I dwell on my losses, my mood darkens and negativity escalates. I become envious of those whose lives have seemingly not been touched by illness and loss. I dwell on “It’s not fair!” and “Why me?” I become the type of person I don’t like to be around!
But God gives me a choice.
I can turn to look at what I have gained rather than what I have lost: Peace, when no peace should exist; Fellowship with other believers; A way to make it through the days of my illnesses when I see no way though; and most of all – the relationship with my Beloved Savior who knows me intimately, calls me by name, suffers with me, and asks no more than I can give.
Sometimes I feel stretched to the breaking point. But when I run to Him at that moment, I find mercy and grace. I find that God does not give me His grace ahead of time, but grants it when I need it. Do I hurt physically? Often, yes. Do I think it is more than I can bear? Sometimes, yes. Does He bring me through it? Always, yes.
I realize that once again, it is a choice. I can count the loss … or count the gains. Yes, the cost is high. The gains are immeasurable.
Father, thank you for getting me through the times when I have felt I can no longer “keep on keeping on.” Thank you that you have always made the way clear for me. I pray I can always be joyful in You. Amen and Amen. So be it!