Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Even Though

Even though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olives fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 
YET I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  Habakkuk 3

Even though. Two very small words with powerful meaning.

This week I was challenged while reading one of my books that God doesn't necessarily fix everything we go through. That prized verse of James 1 to "consider it joy" during the trials took new meaning. Joy comes during the trial and not at the end. The perpetual sin habits, the doubts, the questions, the worry- they all exist for purpose. The singleness, the infertility, the broken marriage, the disability, the continued sickness - even they exist for a purpose.

Why is that something so hard for us to grasp? It's hard for us to imagine that we aren't meant to be perfect. Could it be that the longing within to rectify every trial and difficulty we face is ultimately a longing for our eternity with Christ where all is promised to be made new. And all will be made new.

Yet, we don't embrace the trials - the infertility, the sin habits, the doubts - because we want to be beyond that. Truly the Lord has placed it in our hearts to overcome these sin habits and worries by the power of His Spirit - but that's just it! It is by Him.

Sunday morning while I was sitting in church I was thinking about how I wanted to just conquer a particular area of sin in my life. I had that conquerer mindset and wanting to do it all in my strength. Then I began thinking about how something else would come my way because life just isn't fancy free. That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. Life isn't meant to be fancy free. You may very well be saying "Duh Erin" right now - Go ahead; It's okay.  But why isn't it meant to be fancy free?

God doesn't fix every trial or situation we go through because it is in those moments that He receives the glory. It is in those moments that we show our need for the Savior. Can you imagine if there was a way to instantly fix grief or pain? Or how about infertility? Or singleness? If we could do it on our own there would be no need for God to work in our lives. There would be no need for Him. But that's not how we were created. We were created to need Him for every moment and breath of our life. He calls us to rely on Him during every situation.

Laura Story says in her book, "When God Doesn't Fix It" that our trials and situations allow for God to be the center of our story. Our story is not about us. Therefore, we are able to show others more of our need for Him when we face the trials head on - knowing and trusting that He is taking care of each detail.

To tie it back to the Scripture reference above, we must hold onto the "Even though." Just like Habakkuk saw a place that was falling apart and didn't make sense to him (because the Babylonians were gaining power), he still chose to praise the Lord and make Him his joy. Even though we have doubts... trials.. situations.. hardships... Even though we are single, without children, having been cheated on... Even though whatever your situation may be, we should and will choose to praise the Lord.

Even though we are a broken people, He is a God who can.
Even though we might be experiencing depression, He is a God who comforts.
Even though we are single, He is our ultimate contentment.
Even though we feel lonely, He is the One to run toward.
Even though... He is enough.