I HAVE TWO FAVORITE Bible passages.
They’ve been with me for most of my life.
I’ll share one of them with you today.
I’m going to let you read it the way I read it the first time, from The Living Bible—which has long since been replaced by the New Living Translation.
Let me tell you why I always keep the following verses close to the surface.
The words you’re about to read come from a prophet who has just gotten news from God himself that invaders are coming to destroy the Jewish homeland.
It’s probably the Babylonians, from what is now Iraq.
They overran Israel in 586 BC, leveled Jerusalem, and deported the Jewish survivors—possibly even the prophet who spoke the following words, if he survived.
Knowing that he could lose his homeland, his family, and even his life, this is what he had to say:
Even though the fig trees are all destroyed and there is neither blossom left nor fruit, and though the olive crops all fail, and the fields like barren; even if the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my Strength, and he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. Habakkuk 3:17-19
There have been a few times in my life when I knew something terrible was coming, and I didn’t know how I was going to get through it.
I’d love to say I wrote beautiful songs about God during those rough times. But any songs I would have written, no one would want to sing while they’re sober.
I don’t have the kind of faith Habakkuk seemed to have.
But I want to.