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Despite What’s Seen

The Watered Soul: Despite What’s Seen

Nov 1, 2010

Despite What’s Seen

mondaymannaJoanne at An Open Book has selected an obscure verse in one of the less popular books of the Bible for today’s Monday Manna discussion. But even in the most unlikely places one can find treasure. Besides, how many really valuable things have you discovered just lying around in plain view? I digress sorry.  Today’s scripture is from Habakkuk 3:17-18 and honestly I can’t recall ever reading this particular passage.

 

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.

 

Less Than Ideal Circumstances 

 

bare treesAs I read this verse it immediately reminded me of another passage of scripture I had read recently in chapter 3 of Lamentations, which reads, “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease”. Just as when I read that passage during my daily reading, I was drawn to the stark contrast of the writer’s environmental condition to his internal condition. Neither writer was suffering from denial or delusion. Each presented a clear description of just how dismal their current situation was in fact. A situation that was:

  • without growth
  • void of productivity
  • vastly different from times past
  • appeared to have no end in sight

 An Atypical Response

 

Yet, their response in the situation was not the most logical one from a natural perspective.  Amidst death, barrenness, destruction, lack and great loss, Jeremiah stated he still had hope and Habakkuk said he was still choosing to have joy. Hope and joy are not the by-products of loss are they? Having lost a few things in my life, I certainly don’t think so. Although, I’ve never suffered loss to the magnitude as these two but loss is loss. And, I certainly know what it feels like to be in a place of no outward sign of growth or productivity without the benefit of knowing when the situation would change.

 

Did these two possess some special ability beyond the reach of us “average” Christians? I think not but rather they chose to use what many of us (or I’ll just say what I) often neglect when facing dire circumstances.  It all boiled down to the power of one choice-the choice of where to apply their focus. Though acknowledging the reality of their situation, they chose instead to focus on God – his character and their past experience Him.

 

Are you looking at some spots of death, lack, or non-productivity in your life? If so, I offer you the same challenge I’m giving myself. Dare to change your focus. Even though facing situations beyond our control, there still remains one controllable choice.

 

What does Habakkuk 3:17-18 speak to you?

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments:

At November 1, 2010 at 5:05 PM , Blogger LisaShaw said...

Wanda,

You said it well! We have a choice. A choice to focus on the problem(s), the loss, the trial, the betrayal, the hurt, the situation, the illness, etc. OR we can choose to put our focus on the LORD and when we do there is a peace that surpasses all understand...a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, a strength that arises within us for it is not by might nor by power but strictly by His Spirit that we are able to keep our eyes on HIM.

For me Wanda it's reminding myself of what I already know...I am persuaded that HE is and that He's able to keep me fully and completely and so I am determined to keep my eyes fixed on HIM, my feet firmly rooted in His Word and my heart completely washed in His love and though I FAIL often I'm glad the Holy Spirit gets me back on track quickly!

Love you friend!

 
At November 1, 2010 at 5:19 PM , Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

This spoke to me, even during stress or troubles, I will keep His Joy! These two in the Bible did have it worse but kept the Joy.
kim

 
At November 1, 2010 at 6:35 PM , Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Wonderful insights, Wanda. I hadn't thought about the parallel to Jeremiah, but it is SO clearly there! That's why I love reading other people's perspectives. Thanks for participating!

 
At November 1, 2010 at 6:39 PM , Blogger lioneagle said...

Hi Wanda -

This is excellent.

That Habakkuk verse has long been one of my favorites though I use the KJV.

You so well expressed those truthful sentiments.

Thank you, Wanda!

 
At November 1, 2010 at 6:45 PM , Blogger Pat said...

Hi Wanda you used my favorite scripture here Habakkuk 3:17~18 I truly love that scripture and it gives me such hope when going through tough times,so many Christians have been taught suffering is not a part of God's will,but when you look closer you'll see that it is,God does more through out trials than any other way.God has it all planned out all we have to do is trust him and wait.Really good I enjoyed the read.

 
At November 2, 2010 at 3:17 AM , Blogger Just Be Real said...

This post spoke volumes to me Wanda. Could not be such a perfect timing as this. Thank you. Blessings.

 
At November 2, 2010 at 3:29 AM , Blogger Amanda said...

Wanda, timely for me also... thank you ago for the 'realness' in your writing which comes from your heart.

 
At November 2, 2010 at 8:20 AM , Blogger TonyR said...

Wanda,
Very well written. Habakkuk 3:17-18 is one of my favorite passages of hope in the Bible.
WOW I LOVE the wording of this version of Lamentations 3, it was a fresh word for my soul. Lamentations 3: 21-26 is also a favorite passage but I have never read this version before. What version is this from?

Thank you

 
At November 2, 2010 at 8:40 AM , Blogger Suely Rezende - HD said...

Hi Wanda,

Grace and peace!!!


"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. "ICor.2:9

God Bless,
Suely
Maringá/Brasil
http://herdeirosdedeushd.blogspot.com/
Our blog:

 
At November 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM , Blogger BLUEBUTTERFLY said...

Habakkuk is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Our response is what matters most, and how we respond should reflect what what is on the inside. On the inside should be the Joy of the Lord, which is our strength. On the inside should be the Hope in the Lord, which is our confidence.
Yet, I will rejoice...yet, I will hope...yes, I will believe in the God of my salvation. Thanks, Wanda.

 
At November 2, 2010 at 11:07 AM , Blogger Guiding Light said...

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord - AMEN! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

 
At November 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM , Blogger B. Niles said...

The Word of God is so poetic, beautiful and powerful. I can't recall ever reading that verse in Habakkuk either, Wanda. But I love it's rendering.

It takes me back to Hebrews 11:1. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. No matter what things look like in our circumstances, can we still see God at work. The external vs. the internal.

 
At November 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM , Blogger welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful post to read Wanda.

I would like to thank you for all the support you have shown me.
I really do appreciate it.

Yvonne.

 
At November 2, 2010 at 5:52 PM , Blogger Nicole said...

Beautiful Wanda!! Thanks for posting about these 2 wonderful verses! It is so hard sometimes to remember in our hard times, time of loss or other hard times that God will never leave us and He will always supply our needs, though they may not be what we are thinking or hoping for at the time He will leave us! and what He has in store for us is always whats best!

 
At November 2, 2010 at 9:44 PM , Blogger Sharon Kirby said...

Wanda,

God does indeed work in mysterious ways. My post on Sunday (www.biblepickems.blogspot.com) was about these very same verses!! It's interesting to me, because I "randomly" pick verses to write about on Sundays. Makes me think God has something to say He wants us to hear!

I used the NLT for the verses. Habakkuk uses the phrase, "even though" - and then he finishes with "yet I will."

I found that this was a new insight to me - a change of focus as you have said. God can change any "even though" circumstance - even though the worst is happening - into a choice to turn to Him in trust and peace - "yet I will" CHOOSE to rejoice.

Thanks for your input on these very special verses.

GOD BLESS!

 
At November 2, 2010 at 11:15 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Wanda,
Sometimes life is just plain hard... the thorns and thistles of this broken world come after you... and it still comes back to one thing. "Is God really good?" At least that's what it is for me. I cannot trust in what I see God doing or not doing. I can only trust in who He is.

I know you've seen where I've been. These verses really spoke to me tonight. Thank you for sharing them and thank you for your beautiful words left at my blog.

Bless you,
Julie

 
At November 2, 2010 at 11:23 PM , Anonymous Carole in the Uk said...

Yeah, Wanda, one of my very favourite verses - it is so powerful!

I love to meditate on this verse, as it gives me so much strength, when I am struggling in any area of my walk with the Lord.

It immediately reminds me of the Psalms of David. As I study them, I notice that his Psalms were like a spiritual diary. That because of his personal relationship with God, he was able to pour out his raw emotions, warts and all. Holding nothing back. He had the ability to question God about his circumstances, asking the why question, repenting of the wrong he had done, and knowing fully well, that God was in control of his life.
As I read the Psalms he wrote, I also notice that however dire the situation, David always finished his Psalms by rejoicing in the Lord.

Thank you for your article,
God bless, Carole

 
At November 3, 2010 at 4:18 PM , Blogger Wanda said...

Wow, I'm amazed that so many of you had this passage of scripture as a favorite. It's a book I've read before but the verse about writing the vision and making it plain is the one that stands out the most to me from this book. As you can see I'm no Bible scholar...lol. It's certainly an encouraging passage of scripture because we all face tough times at some point in our lives. Yet God remains good. Tony, Lamentations is quoted from the NLT version. Sharon, I'll have to check that out. I've found we I see a recurring theme, it's definitely something I need to pay closer attention too. Thanks ladies for sharing your thoughts and may God continue to bless and keep you.

 
At November 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM , Blogger Suely Rezende - HD said...

Hi Wanda,

Shalom Adonai,

Thank you for sending a message (email).
I await your visit on our blog.
Come be our follower.


God Bless,
Suely

 
At November 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM , Blogger Suely Rezende - HD said...

Hi Wanda,

Shalom Adonai,

Thank you for sending a message (email).
I await your visit on our blog.
Come be our follower.


God Bless,
Suely

 
At November 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM , Blogger Suely Rezende - HD said...

Hi Wanda,

Shalom Adonai,

Thank you for sending a message (email).
I await your visit on our blog.
Come be our follower.


God Bless,
Suely

 

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