Thursday, December 11, 2008
Uniquely Equipped... Advent of Joy #11
“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 stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
Things seem like they fall apart from time to time, don’t they? It isn’t always a constant thing, though it may seem like it, at times.
I know for me that sometimes things seem to be going along smoothly, and then all of a sudden, the fields produce no food, there are no livestock, no grapes, no figs…
OK, so it’s not literal. But you get the point. Something doesn’t go the way it seems is should. A check you expected didn’t come in. A check you had dedicated for something else, had to be used for sudden car repairs. A steady job suddenly was cut. A dishwasher stops working. A furnace stops working. The snow keeps falling. The kids get sick. You get sick, at the worst possible time.
An act of obedience ends up harder than you thought and you give up. You decide not to do something that God may be calling you to because it is too difficult. You don’t see the path clearly before you, and when it gets hard, you want to stop. When you give up on that act of obedience, you find it even harder to focus on the right things, and start believing the little lies that pick at you each day.
Yet we have a choice. We always have the choice. We can choose to rejoice in the Lord, to be joyful in God our Savior.
Yes. It is hard. Yes. It flies in the face of everything we hear every day. Yes. It doesn’t make sense. Yes. Even in the face of the lack of obedience on our part. Yes. Even in the face of the lies we are believing that we will NEVER get it right.
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
It is a choice. In spite of the circumstances. In spite of what everything looks like around us. It is a choice to trust God, to love Him to rejoice in Him and let Him fill us with His joy.
The Lord is our strength.
The Lord is MY strength.
Think about how hard it is to climb a mountain. Ok, maybe most of us have not done that before. But even a very steep hill, with bare feet and hands.
I have done that before, and slipped and slid and tried to grab on to anything that would keep me from sliding back down, working my way up a very steep hill at the edge of a river. It took a lot of effort. But think about deer. God has uniquely equipped them to live in wild, dangerous territory. They can bound over barriers, and up steep mountain faces. Their feet, and bodies, are perfectly equipped for where they live.
Just like God uniquely equips deer to climb on the heights, so He uniquely equips us for where we are living, what we are doing, and where we are going. He gives us the strength to live the life He calls us to.
So even when I feel like I have failed yet again. Even when I wonder when He will give up on me… still He loves me, He is my strength, He has given me all I need to get through the tough times.
In that I can rejoice, and be joyful in God… He is my Savior.