“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.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11

The winter scape is monochromatic, shades of grey mottled beyond bare silhouetted trees. The threat of snow layers heaviness upon cold in the air, no color now or in the forecast. It is a long way till green or bloom.

Life goes that way at times, in dreary soul seasons of wintry sorrow, of dull living and aspiration. Weighty curtains of disappointment or grief block out light and color, press down weak efforts to raise the head and breathe fresh air. Brokenness chills the heart, freezing out joy, and bleakness of future shadows today with desolation, even despair. But the divinely-instilled indomitable spirit still hopes enough to ask, Where shall we look? To whom shall we go? (2 Chronicles 20:12)

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalm 121:1-4

The Lord who made heaven and earth is He who saves and is our strength. He walks beside us and takes us on the heights. He surrounds us and strengthens us. God’s glory encircles the ugly and lifts the head up and out. God’s image bearers know this mourning has a morning beyond, that the cross and grave are prerequisites for resurrection, restoration, and ascension. Little while suffering will be swallowed in eternal rejoicing.

What causes despondency that our Lord has not known and understood? What weight is He not strong enough to carry, what ill can He not heal? What fracture can He not repair, what gloom can He not cast away, what temptation has He not conquered? (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Though we tarry in hard times, sadness, no answers, weighty circumstances, the Lord promises joy in the morning. His call to eternal glory carries us through transient troubles. Will we faithfully walk that shadowed path in assurance that it is His way of ultimate triumph? (Psalm 30:5)

“This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!” ~Maltbie D. Babcock (1901)

Lord, keep me trusting Your dominion to create color, life, and joy where there is none, that You be glorified.

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