Hab 3:17-19 NASB – “17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.”
“She had the feeling that somehow, in the very far-off places, perhaps even in far-off ages, there would be a meaning found to all sorrow and an answer too fair and wonderful to be as yet understood.”
― Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet on High Places
The way that God works is often a mystery to us. The prophet here has been having a prayer dialogue with God and struggling to understand what God is going by bringing a pagan nation down to destroy Israel and take them into captivity. How can God be using such horrible people, doing horrible things for HIS will to be done on earth? Can such a disaster actually move the Kingdom of God forward?
Yet, at the end of the prayer dialogue the prophet has come to that very sacred and strange place in prayer where he surrenders and says “not my will but your will be done”.
My best friend introduced me to a book years ago by Hannah Hurnard, called Hinds Feet on High Places. This books is an allegory about how a life of faith can include times of great suffering and pain. The Good Shepherd leads us through times of great travail for good purposes but it we must trust in HIM being truly GOOD and that there is gain in all our pain.
So on the one hand we can find ourself with the prophet trembling and anxious about the changes that God is making in our personal lives and our culture. Yet on the other hand we can come through prayer and meditation to a place of inner peace that even if every circumstance in our lives is bankrupt and empty, we can rejoice knowing that God is our refuge, savior, and strength.
Through these hard times HE will make us stronger and more like HIMSELF. We will be conformed to HIS image. The salvation the LORD gives is costly. It was purchased with HIS own blood (Acts 20:28). The ETERNAL SPIRIT has skin in the game and is personally involved into suffering infinite pain to bring us home to the fully manifested and mature Kingdom of God. The GOOD Shepherd will lead his people through much travail and through much tribulation we will enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).
So if you are facing hard times. Have you suffered loses beyond all you can imagine? Do you see your plans destroyed? Is your future in great doubt? Do you find your heart much afraid of what will happen next?
Then it is time to have a long and focused heart to heart with God in prayer. Wrestle your way through all the fear, doubt, confusion,conflicting, and pain. The outcome of such prayer is to reach that point of surrender and strength where we submit and say “not my will but your will be done (Luke 22:42). There is no quick road to this sacred place of resting and trusting in the Lord even when we are in the dark about what HE is doing (Isaiah 50:10). But this is the place where we can know a peace that goes beyond understanding and where we begin to gain from all the pain we are suffering. Get into an honest heart to heart with God today. Its the only place where we can hope to find true rest in the middle of the struggle.
Lord, help us trust that when we see you face to face we there will be a meaning found to all sorrow and we will have an answer too fair and wonderful to be as yet understood about all that is now taking place. Good Shepherd, remember we are but dust and so very frail, lead us now through this time of great travail. Lord have mercy, Messiah have mercy, Lord have mercy. Amen