by Linda Cox

I paused to read the Bible verses from Habakkuk taped to my refrigerator. I certainly needed them as we faced another very wet spring. Would we even get any crops planted this year?

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

As full-time farmers, our crops are our only income so losing them could mean a very lean year. But then I thought of all the farmers whose land is completely flooded and may be for weeks. And what about those people whose land and homes were flooded because “man” decided they were more expendable than others?

though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

What about all those people who lost homes and businesses, who lost family members and friends, who are injured or still missing in the tornadoes that ravaged Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, to name only a few? And even with all the rain and storms, what about the areas of the South suffering drought? My own concerns paled compared to what so many others are going through.

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

Just as many people today are wrestling with why this spring has brought so much devastation, the prophet Habakkuk wrestled with why God allowed injustices and devastation in Judah. When Habakkuk got his answer from God, all it did was raise even more troubling questions. Yet through struggling to understand God’s ways, Habakkuk also learned to rest—and rejoice—in the sovereignty of God.

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Rejoice when no crops get planted? When our land and buildings are flooded? When our homes and businesses and even our lives are blown to pieces? Yes, rejoice.

Because no matter what comes our way—even situations that can’t be removed, no matter that things around us spiral out of control, we can still rejoice because our God is the eternal Lord of the universe and all things are under His control. His mercies are new every morning. He promises to be with us and see us through whatever happens. He will be our comfort in distress, our deliverance from anguish. He will never leave us or forsake us. And, most importantly, He loves and forgives us, resulting in our salvation and eternal life.

Knowing these things, we can indeed be joyful in God our Savior.