Worship no matter what…

It’s another new year. I am very grateful for the physical, emotional and mental rest I am enjoying with my family for a few weeks. The past year has been pain-filled; losing many loved ones, grappling with God and his promises, struggling to keep my head above raging waters, and simply striving to survive.

God’s many promises seemed irrelevant to me and my situation. They were outdated and were definitely objective reality as far as I was concerned. I witnessed injustice, suffering, severe pain and loss among my family, friends and countrymen. God’s mercy and deliverance seemed very far away.

After more than a year of leaving my Bible on a shelf to gather dust, I fearfully picked it up and leafed through the still crisp pages. It was an emotional experience. I know in my heart that Jesus never left me, but I stopped believing in his word — at least those that promise deliverance, provision and help to the widows, orphans and fatherless.

I did not go to my “favorite”‘ books. I simply skimmed through and decided to read Habakkuk. This was not a book I often read so I was stunned to read “myself” and my situation so accurately described by the author. I cried his cry for many months: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you , “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?” – Habakkuk 1: 2-3 (NIV throughout)

Did I receive the answers I wanted to hear? I guess not. I was utterly despondent and wondered if God would ever forgive me for dwelling in negativity and misery for so long. In his unfailing love and mercy, he whispered these words to me.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3: 17-19

He is healing me enough to begin praising him – “….to choose to trust God and declare that his character is perfect – even when we don’t understand and our hearts are breaking.” – Insight on Worship, CGSB, NIV

My heart is still breaking. My husband and I just lost another beloved pet only one week ago. By God’s strength, I choose to be hopeful and to continue to live my life with all my heart and might because life is just too short to remain in pain, anguish and grief. We have a mighty and loving God who continues to save and heal us. And he continues to save and heal me, one small step at a time.