Habakkuk 3:17-19 – 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. (ESV)
There are situations in which I am robbed of my peace because I have little say in the outcome, such as when I was dealing with faceless officialdom that takes weeks of calls and letters to resolve. Life can get a bit stressful for me.
My character is one that if I think I am right, I will not let go. Like a small terrier dog with a bone, I growl both outwardly and inwardly to God and anyone else who stops to listen. Out of the window goes my peace. I am exasperated; frustrated at others' miasma, I find myself powerless in my own strength to do much other than to represent the truth.
Meanwhile, God waits for me to seek Him, to call Him into the situation. He knows me, understands me, teaches me, hears my prayers, and cares for my circumstances and situation.
During the same weeks, the tax man was demanding money with menaces, when eventually he admitted that he was in error. It was compounded by our microwave cooker breaking down, forcing us to contend also with the insurance company that took weeks not to fix it, and then eventually agreed to send a replacement!
Although I have had the victory now as I write, over the previous weeks life has not been a bundle of laughs. I knew that God was with me, but I still cried out, and the growl continued because, without resolution, we did not have the cash to spend on everyday essentials. There is other more personal stuff, but you get picture: life happens.
These events happen for a reason. Sometimes, it is my fault, sometimes not, and frankly, sometimes, I believe that it is a move of the enemy to attempt to isolate us, undermine us, or at worst, destroy our relationship with Jesus.
I get suggestions that belittle our prayer life as a waste of time, purely because — and for no other reason than — we are praying and interceding for ourselves, those around us or in the community, or the happenings of the world at large.
In the kingdom of heaven, it is different; we are noticed; our prayers are heard; prayer changes things. So, I continue interceding, contending in prayer for and with others, because in Jesus, it makes a difference for us, this world, and God's kingdom.
When we are bowed down, in the midst of contending, He comes and lifts us up from the mire and lightens the burden. He walks with us, and as we let Him, He will carry the load. Finally, His Spirit's peace will cause the growling to cease, and His walk with us through the storm, our shield and defender, brings triumph — even over the fear of death.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for being patient with us in our follies and wilfulness. We humbly bow the knee and praise You as our Saviour and our future hope in times of trouble. Forgive us for our failings, and grant in us a deeper disclosure of Your love for us, so that we can soak in this revelation and carry it with us as we go. May it spill over into the meetings that we have ahead today, in, through, and for the name of Jesus. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "How Firm A Foundation" (Lyrics)