“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.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little… Why? declares the Lord. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.” Haggai 1:4-9
The thick sky this morning closed in like so many cares. The darkness seemed nearer than usual, and heavy. But as I watched, and very slowly the light tiptoed in, there was the pink, a hint of rosy cheer. Concerns cloud our minds, we can bend under their burden, and conclude there is no hope. But if we watch long enough, we begin to see the light of God’s providence shining, smudging color into our dreary circumstances. Bring on the pink, O Lord! And eyes to see it!
When we get all twisted in importances and tangled in the tyranny of the urgent, God graciously exposes our messed up priorities. And sometimes it hurts. He teaches that our flesh endeavors will never satisfy, and having plenty in this world does not necessarily translate to a plenteous soul. Hours filled with activity are not necessarily hours spent with meaning. Work done with vigor is not necessarily work with significance. Things and events and productivity we thrive on will never hold the value of rejoicing in the Lord and living by His Spirit.
If we would put Him first, he puts the rosy and substance into every endeavor. If we would put Him first, He would order our affections and set our plans and priorities aright. If we put Him first, we realize that on earth we can be depleted, our efforts fruitless, our labor unsuccessful, and all is still well with our souls because our treasure is in heaven; we can still rejoice. Our salvation is not shaken, our future not dulled, our God not diminished. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Would I begin my day by taking up the word of God rather than my tools of trade? Would I take time to worship him and listen to His voice before I consult the news and my agenda? Would I take joy in my Savior?
Father, train me to consider my ways and exalt You as supreme in them all. In every difficulty, every cloud of care, give me eyes to see Your hand and glory, and the will to rejoice.