Photograph ©️ Scott Mitchell

This Thanksgiving…

…There are no children at our table…God is good.

…There are no grandkids to spend the night and kiss on…God is good.

…My health is suspect at best (again)…God is good.

…Major bills are coming due with no help in sight…God is good.

…My bride is feeling the effects of a labor job with no end in sight…(she still says:) God is good.

…Our future is up in the air, in question, still to be determined…God is good.

…My preaching gifts are not being utilized and drying up…God is good.

…There are unresolved family dysfunctions and toxicity…God is good.

All of this,

And much MUCH more,

But I repeat myself:

God is good.

(So so good.)

Once upon a time a preacher with a funny name was breaking under a burden and cried out, “how much longer does this have to go on, God?” He saw no end in sight. He wasn’t even sure God knew the answer.

But he pressed in because it was the only thing he knew to do. His name means “holding on to God for all you’re worth” and that’s how he got through the buzzsaw that was coming down on him. He held on to Yahweh’s coat tails and didn’t let go.

Through the doubt.

Through the bleak.

Through the drudge.

Through defeat.

Through every danger, toil, and snare.

Did it change his circumstances? No. That train had already left. But it changed him, because when Habakkuk leaned into God, he found himself nestled in closer to God’s heart than when he stood with balled fists a few feet away. Here, in God’s bosom, he participated in a miracle.

Cataracts dropped from Habakkuk’s eyes and, like Job before, his questions no longer demanded an answer. Instead, he got a promise.

Habakkuk 3:17-19
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.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
For the choir director…

The passage ends with Habakkuk sending a memo to his worship leader to forego any other song for Sunday and learn a new one. I’ve supplied the words, you come up with the melody, he said. God changed his sermon, and this would be the direction:

No matter what, God is good.

I’ve been struggling for a while; I know what balled fists feel like. You can’t hold onto God with coiled hands. You’ve got to drop your guard, deep-six the angst, and lean into his heart. Don’t worry, he’s gonna do all the holding. He’s good at it.

I’m sending my soul a memo on this Thanksgiving weekend, instructing it to lead out in a new song. How about you?

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Post Author: Pasturescott

22 Replies to “misery and majesty”

  1. Oh Scott…you’re speaking my language and I hear the soul angst in your own. My heart will cry out for you and Sandy as we all weep and worship together through the journey. May God’s favor and blessing pour out on you all on this Thanksgiving Day in new and fresh ways that bring more hope on the path marked out for you. Love and hugs to you and Sandy!

    1. My aptly named, wonderful friend, thank you. The Lord has given you as a voice of calm in my spirit; I can’t tell you how many times your blogs have been just what I needed in this hard providence I find myself in. Pray that these sentiments today are not just words in a post for me, but power in my walk.

    2. Our pain and suffering often are the voice God uses most to speak the loudest. I’m not always happy about that plan but it has become the message of hope to others who need to know they’re not alone. You and Sandy live your life with a “no matter what, Jesus is worth it” attitude. I keep looking for that day we’ll all be whole but until then … well, you know 😊🎶. God is holding us. Sometimes that’s all I know.

      1. You had me thinking again of the famous Lewis quote about our pain being God’s “megaphone to rouse” from slumber. This pain is a new kind to me which signals a new thing God is doing. He’s up to something. My soul says ‘over’, my heart says ‘starting’. I’m holding onto that.

  2. Though you are struggling, you and Sandy remain a beacon of strength to so many. The admission of your struggle is giving people the permission to heal and realize that God is good even still. John and I adore you and Sandy and we are so thankful to be on earth at the same time as you two. We are lifting you up to the Father and thanking Him for the role He has allowed you to play in our lives.

    1. Dear one, I’m reading your words and I’m saying, “this is Kala. This is her beautiful soul on display, with depth, compassion, mercy, and wisdom. This is who you are.” Thank you for sharing your heart and speaking to mine. We both love you guys and bless the day we saw you as one.

  3. You Pasture Scott are wonderful! I am truely thankful for your posts and your encouraging spirit in my life. Thanks for sharing your heart 💙

    1. Oh Dee, from the first time you connected to any ministry that has ever flowed through me, you’ve been a joy and encouragement. There’ve been times when I’ve felt my season was over, then you wrote or listened to a podcast, and told me I still had something to say. Thank you, my wonderful friend.

  4. my dear friend and brother… your words cut through the chaff and dross of life, and bring a much needed moment of clarity and re-alignment with the important things of God. We serve a Great King! God bless you and Sandy, today and always.

    1. Your referencing kingdom gives perspective I must lay hold of: his ways are always engineered to bringing his Kingdom to earth in all its fullness! Thank you Don. I dearly appreciate each time you reconnect. You’re a needed friend.

  5. Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life…may God continue to make His presence known to you and sweet Sandy. Will be praying for you both. Love and hugs💜🙏❗️

    1. Sweet, dear friend, thank you for blessing my heart with your true compassion. I hear God singing through your words and we lean hard on his faithfulness and goodness. Love to you and all!

  6. Praying for you and Sandy! I put on my dining room wall yesterday a wooden plaque with rough boards that says ” Trust in the LORD with all your heart”– because I need a daily visual reminder that I can cast ALL my cares on Him. All the unknowns are known to Him. Thankful that He is in control and we can rest upon His promises to supply all our needs!

    1. YES! We need daily reminders that the gospel is for us every day, not only in the instant of our salvation…that’s a beautiful picture of your heart’s devotion, Beth! God be praised in your life!

  7. My brother Scott. The Summerford’s love you and Sandy and appreciate your walk and testimony for our Lord God! Stay strong and know a day doesn’t go by that your not prayed for and thought of. Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you.

    1. Dale, I’m blessed that God gave me a brother like you. I wish there weren’t so many miles between us; I feel we’d have a close friendship of walking out this faith thing together. Your testimony of prayer for us daily is an amazing blessing. You’re why God is getting His way with us!

  8. This post….the way you walk your life… soooo why I love you. Thank you for saying succinctly what I’d never EVER be able to articulate . I just have one word for you about this post——PREACH.

  9. Mercy,such transparency of a royal heart…and yet,I do get this…in my own way. There are goliaths that are still on the battlefield of this soldier’s…that I still wake up to see each morning…ones that I’ve long thrashed with His Words. And yes,our God is good,Great even…where those that are smited are now gone & that ground is reclaimed for our God…may I press in harder too, knowing He is still good,He is still fighting…I am waiting still to see more of the *goodness of the Lord in the land of the living *…Thank you for sharing,big brother. May His favor surround you and your bride *as a Shield* [psalm 5:12b].
    He is good,indeed. 🍂

    1. The very things you address are the very things this Advent is stirring me to be about, and calling me to bear up under. Bless you, my faithful and true sister-friend. May the light of his glorious grace beam it’s fullness to you and yours! Thank you muchly for your paraclete-ness to me!

  10. Oh Pasture, how often do we find ourselves in this situation and the temptation is so great to give into what we can see instead of the unseen. I’ve been there with my fist shaking at the ceiling and saying “where were You when …, do You even love me?” He was quiet…for awhile…because I wasn’t listening anyway and He knew it. He let me dangle on the end of the rope of my own making. He was faithful even though I was not.

    You’ve been quiet. I wondered. Praying for you this moment as you are a delight to my life and to God’s heart. Father I ask you to be with my dear Pasture and my dear Sandy. You know their struggles and their heart. Draw them to your breast and allow them to lean on you for the comfort and assurance they need right now. They know You love them but a fresh touch never hurts any of us. I trust you with them as I trust you with everything. Bless them mightily this Christmas season and all the year through. This I pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen

    1. My sincere thanks, Becky dear, for your consolation and loving words shot through with divine understanding. Indeed, I’ve been quiet, a God-imposed stillness to sit at his feet and draw from his Life, things new to me and things repeated to me. God bless you, dear; may his lovingkindness continue to follow you all your days.

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