Habakkuk 2:1, 3:16-19
I will stand at my watchpost,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what he will answer concerning my complaint…
I hear, and I tremble within;
my lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters into my bones,
and my steps tremble beneath me.
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
to come upon the people who attack us.
Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails,
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold,
and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.
“In the barrenness of winter, Habakkuk offers this gift to always carry close: rejoicing in the Lord happens while we struggle in the now.” – Ann Voskamp
Habakkuk speaks of the now (much like what I have shared of the last few days) and the struggles – fig trees not blossoming, olive harvests fail, enemies attack…”Yet I will rejoice in the Lord and exult in the God of my salvation…”
I love the watchtower imagery in this passage and in Voskamp’s reflection – when we move to a higher place we can see the bigger picture. We can see not only the trials that we may be facing, but also we can see the joys and the blessings that might be missed. I read this passage while sitting out in one of my favorite places for hiking – interestingly, there’s a “watch tower” right where I was – an overlook shelter that is at the top of the long staircase I posted about a week ago or so. I love going to that place and seeing the overlook view and reading, praying, being silent, listening to the voices of nature and the speaking of the Spirit through it all. There are many joys that I can see as I come up to the watchtower of life and see the bigger picture.
Voskamp challenges us today to “take time to climb your watchtower. In those moments of quiet, reflect on the joys you have been given – and then repeat them.” Repeat them to where your mind and heart go to those joys and not just to the olives crop, the enemies around, or the unblossomed fig tree.