Friday, April 17, 2009

The rain is over and gone...

"Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls--Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills."

I'm pretty sure somewhere in my blogging experience I have written about this verse before. It gives me such hope and strength...

We all go through these times. Our lives have a cold and dead outer layer. We feel cut off, fruitless, even as though we failed. You look around and everything you see is dead or unyeilding. There isn't a blossom of new life, there isn't a hope for the future. When you look at the fields yeilding no food, you think "I may starve." When you see the fold and there is no flock in it you think "I'm without purpose." When the proverbial herds from your stalls are gone, you wonder where your income is going to come from...

The danger is stopping there. The danger is just reading part of that passage and going "yes, thats me. I am torn and bitter and hurt and scared." Or something along those lines. It's that initial feeling of hopelessness (think Job). But, what is so beautiful about those times in our lives is that we still have EVERYTHING to be thankful for. We still have EVERYTHING to put our hope in.

Though (things arent going my way, I had to step out of the ministry, I left my job, I dont have a place to live, I just got some bad news, I feel hopeless, I have no direction, I feel overwhelmed, I lost a loved one,...the list goes on) YET
I will rejoice in the LORD.
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength...

I was there. I went through months of feeling this way and leaning on these verses to remind me that He is the one who brings joy despite the circumstances. He is the one who gives us hope when everything we physically see is hopeless.

And the best part? This is the verse that He has brought me to:

"My beloved spoke, and said to me: rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. the flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!"

Winter is just a season. It is a necessary season that gives the branches and the beauty of the earth a time of rest so that she can come back with full strength in the spring. You look around and see dead and cold and frozen wasteland and then, suddenly one day you see: green grass, a blossom, a singing bird. Winter is over. The dead that you stared at all season long was just a facade to the growth underneath. That hope you held onto through the dry and weary season was strengthening you from the inside so that when spring would burst out into full bloom.

Isn't our God good?