Christmas 2014 Devotion – Day 19

December 19th

Watching for Him Who is enough.

I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says.

HABAKKUK 2:1

There are Christmas trees that have no blossoms.

There are a thousand ways you can suffer brave. And no one knows.

No one knows that, like Habakkuk, your heart quakes a bit inside. At how headlines hit too close. How in a blink on an ordinary day, it could be one you love who is bloodied by the senseless violence; busted in a crash; begging prayers for life; getting chemo pumped through their veins.

We all lose every single person we love. There is never another way.

Think about that too long and you find it hard to breathe.

The economy crumbles away under your feet. If one more thing breaks down, if one medical disaster pushes you over the fragile edge, what in the world do you grab on to in this mudslide of debt? Fear is always this wild flee ahead.

Olives fail. People fail. Dreams fail. You feel like you fail. A thousand things mount. Some days it’s hard not to panic. You can feel it – we are driven by fear of failure.

For all our frenzied running around, could it be that we are actually fleeing – trying to escape all the fears? All this pain? All this failure?

We all live these lives of quiet terror. Of soundless, hidden grief. You could just bow your head in the quiet and weep for all that isn’t. For all that you aren’t.

In the barrenness of winter, Habakkuk offers this gift to always carry close: rejoicing in the Lord happens while we still struggle in the now.  Struggling and rejoicing are not two chronological steps, one following the other, but two concurrent movements, one fluid with the other.

As the cold can move you deeper toward the fire, struggling can move you deeper toward God, Who warms you with joy. Struggling can deepen joy.