Dec 16 - WRESTLING, WAITING, PRAYING, PRAISING

TODAY'S PASSAGE

13 You came out to deliver your people,
to save your anointed one.
You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
you stripped him from head to foot.
14 With his own spear you pierced his head
when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
gloating as though about to devour
the wretched who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
churning the great waters.

16 I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 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,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
— Habakkuk 3:13-19


TODAY'S DEVOTION

Like the prophet Habakkuk, how often have we wrestled or struggled with God?  The nation of Judah was experiencing a low time in its history.  Habakkuk was frustrated at God’s seeming silence and lack of involvement in the world when injustice and evil were rampant. Our timing is not God’s timing. Our ways are not God’s ways.  We must wait faithfully on the Lord, expecting that God will indeed faithfully work out all things for our good as promised.  The book of Habakkuk reminds us that no place is too dark and no wall too thick for God’s grace to penetrate in a powerful and life-affirming way.

During these days of Advent, we anticipate once again the birth of God’s sacrificial gift of Jesus, His only Son.  We wrestle with what that means for us, our families, our church, our community, and the world.  We wait, sometimes impatiently, but expectantly, for the hope, love, joy, and peace that we so desperately need.  We look to God listening for reassurance that all will be well.

May we, like Habakkuk, look ahead believing and praising the unfathomable mysteries of God:

“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 tread on the heights.”  Habakkuk 3:18-19 (NIV)


LET US PRAY

Lord, we confess that we struggle.  Help us to claim your faithful promises every day.  We praise you and thank you for your abiding presence.  May we rejoice in you for who you are and what you’ve done through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.


TODAY'S AUTHOR

Nenette Measels enjoys her ministry at Carson-Newman, collecting all things “tea”—tea pots, tea cups, tea tins, antiquing, puzzling, reading, and spending time with her husband, Clark, and cat, Shelley Bella.  "During this season of Advent, I am most looking forward to the music of Advent/Christmas and being with family."