Rejoicing With Barren Trees
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (KJV)
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
I’ve loved these verses for years, but recently I’ve seen something that encouraged me in a different way. We’ve admired Habakkuk’s attitude for years, and I always will, but The Lord pointed something out to me I had previously overlooked. The prophet was rejoicing over barren trees, empty vines, crop failure in the fields, and empty barns.
While there is so much in this, I’d like to share what He encouraged me with. Yes the trees were barren, but they were his trees. Yes the land was not being fruitful, but they were on his land. The barn may have been empty, but it was Habakkuk’s barn!
Israel knew what it was like to harvest someone else’s trees. The people of Jacob had worked in other people’s bountiful field. How many cattle did the sons of Jacob oversee for Pharaoh? Yes, they were going through a tough time in their land, but they were in their land.
Too often when we face trials, we see what’s missing and not what is there. We are human, it’s why David said The Lord remembers that I’m dust. God understands our frailty, but oh how we forget how miserable we were before we met Jesus!
I had a lot of emotional baggage, but not a lot of peace. Where I am now is so much better than where I was, even in seasons of challenge. Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees with little compared to what he had after God blessed him. We must not look at the barrenness of today, because just like with Abraham, God has experience creating something out of nothing.
The prophet finishes off his book with verse nineteen. He says I will rejoice in God, that The Lord is my strength, and He will anoint my feet. That He will cause me to walk in high places, singing God’s praise. In other words, The Lord will bring us through!
The prophet didn’t end the chapter with the trees started sprouting, or the herds coming back. He ended it with praise regardless of his current situation. May we all plan to spend every season praising God, barren trees or full, He alone is our only source of real joy and peace.