Life's not looking so good today and tomorrow's not looking any better. Not only is there no fruit, there's not even a bud to give me hope that fruit will come soon. There's nothing in the barn and so how can I even hope that there will be more! It's all gone and I have nothing left to give.
Yesterday at church, Matt finished up his sermon series on Habakkuk and it just made me think. At the beginning of the book, he is complaining that God won't do anything and God says, Oh I WILL do something, but you're not going to like it. At the end of the book Habakkuk looks around and says, "There is nothing left and no hope that it'll get any better." Here comes my favorite part: YET I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength.
In the blink of an eye, you can lose it all: health, wealth, family, friends. When it is all gone and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better, what is your outlook on life?
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer, his responce: If one person comes to know the Lord through my sickness, it'll all be worth it.
I do not have cancer, nor am I homeless. I haven't lost my husband or been betrayed by a close friend... Steven's just in seminary. But even there, I hide from struggle. I hate suffering. I want it to be a pleasant and easy ride with not too many bumps in it.
(I must preface the following paragraph: I'm about to be very honest, so if you can't handle reading my messiness, I would suggest you stop reading now.)
Instead, I have found myself frustrated with the workload. I found myself irritated at, what seemed to me as legalistic theology and griping at the burden of seminary tuition. This morning I had an epiphany. I am actually thankful for the struggles that seminary has brought into our marriage. It has caused me to pray more fervently for my husband, seek the Lord more passionately in my own life and united us together as we fight for a single goal. Prayer has so saturated our hearts that it has welded them together. I've realized that that is something only hardship can bring. Ease can not bring about the same closeness that struggle can.