Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Habakkuk 3:16-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
16 I hear, and I tremble within;
my lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters into my bones,
and my steps tremble[a] beneath me.
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
to come upon the people who attack us.
Trust and Joy in the Midst of Trouble
17 Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails,
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold,
and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.[b]
To the leader: with stringed[c] instruments.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
What is life like for you as you enter into this third day of a new year? Does it feel like a new year? Perhaps you have lost your job or you are battling illness or you are suffering from grief or other loss. Perhaps you look at the future right now with fear and dread. If so, then you are experiencing something of what Habakkuk is expressing. The Common English Bible translation puts it this way: “I hear and my insides tremble. My lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters my bones. I tremble while I stand.” He was scared, because he knew the Babylonians were coming. His nation was going to be destroyed. His friends and neighbors were going to be taken into captivity if they were left alive.
Yet, Habakkuk faces the future with courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, of course. Rather, courage is faith in the face of fear. What if the worst comes? What do you do? He imagines that reality: “Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.”
How can he say that? The answer is in the last verse: “GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.”
Whatever comes, God is our strength.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster