"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls -- yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Habakkuk 3:17,18).I first became aware of this remarkable verse when I read Hannah Hurnard's book, Hind's Feet on High Places, a book I recommend to anyone who doubts that our Shepherd leads the way. This verse is an extraordinary statement of a spiritual fact. The word YET means that no matter what happens, we are held in our Father's heart and hands. This would cover an earthquake in California, a hurricane in Florida (I live in Central Florida and witnessed four hurricanes in six weeks!), a drought in the mid-west, a depression that makes the 1929 one pale, a personal tragedy: whatever happens to us -- "yet I will rejoice in the God of my salvation."If we can say "Yet I will rejoice" in the midst of the worst, then we have that peace that Jesus promises to all who trust Him to keep our lives stitched together. There is another word here just as important: rejoice. Who wants to rejoice in the midst of terrible circumstances that are beyond our control? It seems unnatural and crazy, doesn't it? And yet this is what our lovely Father and Redeemer asks of us. Yet I will say yes to my Father who is the only One who knows the end from the beginning. Not only will I acquiesce, I will rejoice: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).If we wish to stay in a thankful mode and mood, we need to be careful of the daily paper and the TV news, too. I have a friend who has decided to wait until she has had breakfast and can face the day before she faces the daily list of cynicism and violence and hate. Of course the solution to this would be to quit getting the daily paper. It's so easy to forget that God is still in charge when the whole world is becoming outrageous and so lacking in common sense. It is essential that we walk with Jesus in these perilous times. I personally believe the fig trees will lose their blossoms very soon -- yet we will give thanks.
_________________Patricia Erwin Nordman