If you could imagine the perfect start to your day, what would you choose? Would you want to enjoy your cup of coffee in solitude on the front porch, or maybe go on a long walk while the morning is still cool, maybe snuggle with your little ones while they still have a sleepy head, or have a deep conversation with your spouse? When those perfect mornings really happen, though they may be few, the day just feels different. You feel at peace.
But what about all the other days when the toast burns, everyone oversleeps, the kids spend the morning aggravating each other, or you have an argument with your spouse about….yes….the same thing yet again. These are the days where we actually live most of the time, the days where real life happens. Certainly not the Norman Rockwell type of morning we imagine as the perfect start to our day. We live in the mess, and sometimes even in the trenches, with the people closest to us. The days can be exhausting, disappointing, and just plain stinkin’ sometimes. So what then?
The prophet Habakkuk had some of those days as well. He complained to God, asked God why He allowed things to stay as they were, and just couldn’t imagine that God even knew his troubles anymore. The Lord answered him in Habakkuk 1:5 with this, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” The Lord continues on with His answer, and Habakkuk later complains to God yet again.
By the end of this small book of prophecy, Habakkuk’s circumstances have not changed, but his perspective has. Habakkuk begins rejoicing in the Lord. In 3:17-19, he rejoices, saying, “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.”
He finally got it! He finally realized that no matter what was going on around him, the most important thing for him was to focus on the Lord, to rejoice in the God of his salvation. This passage is one of my favorites. Some days it seems I spend my entire day reading and re-reading it, inserting my issues and struggles. It’s an exercise that the Lord uses to change my really crummy days into days filled with peace that only comes from Him, even though the day may still be hard.
What if we spent each day praying through this prayer, like Habakkuk learned:
Though all our breakfast burned, yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
Though my children can’t seem to get along with each other today, yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
Though my house is always a mess and my laundry is never caught up and if I have to prepare another meal for all these people I might just scream, yet I will take joy in the God of my salvation;
Though my husband/wife and I can never seem to see eye to eye on this issue, no matter how hard we both might try, God the Lord is my strength.
Sweet friend, next time your day isn’t going quite as you wish it was…and actually even on your best days, remember to rejoice in the Lord; take joy in the God of your salvation; remember that God the Lord is your strength. Changing focus and perspective changes everything!
Blessings friend ~
For more encouragement in your walk with the Lord, visit the links below. You’ll be glad you did!