Thursday, March 19, 2020

Life Verse

Many years ago, I participated in a discipleship weekend with Milt Hughes... many of the habits and organizational tips & tricks that he shared with us have faded... but one particular element of that weekend has hung on. Milt encouraged us to choose a "life verse" - a place in Scripture that spoke deeply to us. 

A year or two before (it really was a long time ago), I had seen Twenty-One Hundred Productions' multimedia* show about the book of Habakkuk. (This link will take you to the soundtrack - please note, though the content of the teaching is still excellent, the musical soundtrack is very much a product of the early 80s.) I found myself absolutely floored by the applicability of an Old Testament minor prophet to my biggest questions about evil and injustice. 

So, the verse I chose - fresh off an extraordinarily unhealthy dating relationship, scared about my future as a youth pastor - has continued echo throughout my life. Through church conflict, miscarriages, economic worries, planting (and closing) a church, Kawasaki syndrome, leaving ministry, Habakkuk's conclusion has been my conclusion. The fact that I can't see how God is working in the world does not mean God has stopped working in our lives.
Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls, 
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; 
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]. 
Habakkuk 3:17-19 Amplified
Today, I'm once again reminded as we self-quarantine that those same words are still true. 

And true for me.

* Note: "multimedia" in this case meant a tiny bit of film and a truckload of slide projectors synchronized to the soundtrack... looking back, it was an amazing piece of work with the technology that was available. Sadly, the entire presentation is no longer available.

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