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Yet I Will Rejoice

Hurricane Dorian made its landfall in The Bahamas on September 1st, 2019. I know that nothing I can say would offer any hope, healing, or answers to those who have quite literally lost everything. There is a simultaneous reality that even those who were not personally affected by the storm are searching for answers as to why something this tragic occurred - especially if we believe in a Good and Sovereign God.

But today, God brought to mind this passage from the end of Habakkuk:

“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. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”
- Habakkuk 3:17-19

These words were inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by Habakkuk at a time of complete desolation in Judah. The crazy thing is, they didn’t have to wonder why God would allow such tragedy to come, because He told them that He was the One Who would bring it about on them. They were about to experience God’s judgement on them as a nation because of their disobedience and God was giving them that message through Habakkuk.

As Habakkuk waits on this destruction and judgement to come (Habakkuk 3:16), he pens the above verses.

These are at least some of the words I offer to those affected by Dorian and those wondering why this all has happened. I offer them because they are not my words, but God’s - through Habakkuk. In the face of certain devastation, Habakkuk worships. His joy and strength are found in the Lord, not his circumstances or even the explanation of those circumstances. He is able to stand not on his strength, but the Lord’s.

Habakkuk’s response to everything being taken away? Yet I Will Rejoice. Not in my circumstances, but in my God. I do not say that lightly or with any thought that it will be easy to do or even cause your circumstances to be different. I have personally been processing the fact that if Dorian had veered just 50 miles south, I could be facing the loss of just about every single person in my family. Had Dorian made a slightly different turn, my own home, possessions, and life would have been in danger. I have asked myself what my response would be in those times. And I have prayed (with much emotion) that my response would be similar to Habakkuk’s.

I’m praying the same for you as I pray for the recovery and rebuilding of my home country. These are not my only prayers or thoughts in this situation, but they have been at the forefront of my mind today.