Tuesday, March 13

God is our cause for joy in the midst of despair.

With a tendency toward pessimism, I quickly jump to negative conclusions about how situations in my life will play out. If Iím thwarted in my efforts on a work project, Iím easily convinced none of my other projects will be successful either, and ó even though utterly unrelated ó I will probably never be able to touch my toes comfortably. And, woe is me, Iím an awful mother who canít do anything right. Defeat in one area unnecessarily affects my feelings in many.

Itís easy for me to imagine how the prophet Habakkuk might have reacted to what God showed him. He had great cause for despair after having seen the coming troubles for Godís people; long and arduous years lay ahead. Things really did look dismal: no fruit, no meat, and no creature comforts. His words lure me into a pessimistic bed of hopelessness until he jars me awake again with a small three-letter word: yet. ďYet I will rejoice in the LordĒ. Despite all the hardships he anticipated, Habakkuk found cause for rejoicing simply because of who God is.

While we might be prone to exaggerate our problems, Habakkuk truly faced some extreme hardships. If he could summon praise for God in those moments, perhaps we can too. When weíre bogged down in the depths of despair, we can look to God who lifts us up.