In the first week of this new year, my Dad was hospitalized with Congestive Heart Failure, my brother was diagnosed with Cancer, and our family’s beloved Pediatrician and friend of 30 years took his own life after struggling with Dementia and Parkinson’s.

I am wondering what kind of start your new year is off to. A wonderful one, I hope! But if it’s off to a start like mine, I would like to encourage you.

The Scripture Habakkuk 3:17-19 reads like this:

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.

That same Scripture, in the following fill-in-the-blank version, has been kept for years on a colorful index card in my Bible.

  • Though [            ] and [            ],
  • Though [            ] and [            ],
  • Though there are no [            ] and [            ],
  • 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.

Over the years, I have filled in those blanks in so many ways:

  • Though I am sick (and worried) and there is no relief in sight,
  • Though the curriculum isn’t working and I see no other options,
  • Though there are no guarantees for the outcome and I feel so unsure,
  • 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.

Do you need an index card like this? How might you fill it in?

My fill-in-the-blank Scripture card served to remind me countless times, that whatever my troubles, to rejoice in the Lord. Not despite them, but in the midst of them. In the midst of them, God our Savior is right there with us.

Think about that.

Right in the middle of our troubles, he wants us to look to him and find joy in him. To find our strength in him and to let him enable us.

I don’t know about you, but this is good news to me. I can do this. I can rejoice in the Lord, find my strength in the Lord, and oh so easily today, look to him to enable me.

Rejoice in the Lord, be joyful in God your Savior.

 

 

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