Strength in the time of Chaos

“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” (Hab. 3:17-19).
When one has a child that is diagnosed with a medical issue, in my families’ case it was hemophilia, the rug seems to be pulled out from under the family. The diagnosis came as a complete shock. My wife and I felt like our world had been taken out from under us. What was supposed to be a happy event, changed into something that was, at first, catastrophic. The only place that we could turn was to God. It was with that diagnosis in mind that I first read this prayer from Habakkuk. Its words were very powerful to me as I began to find hope in the midst of chaos. I took Habakkuk’s example and claimed strength in the time of trial as the ultimate place for comfort and reassurance was found in God.
This passage is a beautiful prayer which reinforces the steadiness of God. Judah would face destruction if its economic resources were to be destroyed. Even though destruction would occur if everything that provided sustenance were to vanish, Habakkuk still pledged his devotion to God. Habakkuk claimed victory over destruction because of God’s promise to give him strength in the midst of trials.
We have all had our Habakkuk moments when the trials of life became so great that we could not see the good in anything. Life becomes overwhelming to say the very least. I hope that I can be like Habakkuk in those very tough times. I hope that I can look out over what I perceive as destruction and remember that the one who created beauty out of chaos promised that I will be kept safe.
Habakkuk also reminds me to stop focusing on my problems and turn my eyes towards God. It is when I focus on the presence of the Divine in my life that I remember that I have hope in the middle of darkness. It is through God that I can pull myself out of a bad situation and rely on the spiritual strength given by God. I will run with a power like I have never had before. Strength in the middle of crisis is what this psalm to God claims.
Years have come and gone since we first heard the diagnosis of hemophilia. We no longer look at the diagnosis as catastrophic, but we find strength in the blessings that we have been given as a result of this little life coming into our world. Yes we have needles in our house, and yes we have a medical closet that could rival some small hospitals, but we have our son who was our gift in the middle of a devastating storm.

About joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of Rio Rancho United Methodist Church in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.
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