…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 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.
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?