|A time of unfruitfulness can be beautiful |
if you know the secret to loving that season.
I wonder if you've ever been in what you considered a dry and barren land; a time of life when there seemed to be no justice, no sense of fairness, when it felt as though the whole world was resplendent with blessing and your were alone with none. Your dreams had fallen apart. Your plans had become nothing more than disappointing daggers of doubt to your soul. The wicked seemed to flourish even as you gave your best and had no reward whatsoever.
I have just lived one of those times. Why God, why? When God, when? How God, how? Where God, where? Just let me in on your plan, God; just let me in! Lost in despair and feeling as though there could never be light or blossoming again.
Then, I began a study in Habakkuk. It was not what I wanted to hear, but listen I must because I knew that's what God wanted me to hear at that time. We were coming up on a study of the Minor Prophets in our Sunday Connect Group and I had decided to do some study on them in preparation. Habakkuk help my rapt attention. I could not turn away. I woke from sleep during the middle of the night knowing in my spirit that I must read Habakkuk. Over and over again I read.
The Holy Spirit began to show me things that I still do not have freedom in my spirit to share. Perhaps someday I will; or perhaps what I learned was intended for no on but me. Time will tell. I do know that the verses quoted below became almost like a battle cry for me. I can't see it right now, but I will praise the Lord anyway!
Sometimes, the real beauty lies within the barren season. What would spring be like without the winter? Are my barren seasons really barren, or only dormant? They are definitively separate things. Barren is defined as unfruitful or unproductive, dormant is defined as latent but with the possibility of becoming active again. I am only barren if I allow the enemy to make me see myself that way.
The last sentence of this book says "He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights." I WILL tread the heights, both here and hereafter! Incredible opportunities have been opened to me; opportunities that I never dreamed could be available to me. I was not prepared to feel worthy of those opportunities. I had to reach the realization that, although nothing I do makes me worthy, the fact that I am a child of the King of Kings makes me worthy of every blessing He places in my life.
Through a series of adversities that have been in my life since childhood and moving forward, I had taught myself to feel 'lesser than' and completely unworthy. Every time I lost something or someone important to me, I knew I deserved to lose that. Habakkuk taught me a valuable lesson about what I deserve. I can look more objectively at my life now and realize that, when Jesus said the rain falls on the just and the unjust, He was not referring me when He referred to the 'unjust'. Honestly, I am 55 years old and I have just come to that realization. I knew in my head, my heart did not know, could not accept that fact.
I am the JUST because Jesus lives in me. I deserve the blessings He places in my life because I love Him and He lives in me. I will tread the heights as I make this trip home because He lives in me.
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.