What If You Never Make the Top Ten–or Anyone’s List?

photo courtsy of yirsh at www.sxc.hu

The Top Ten

At the beginning of each year you’ll usually hear or read about a list of  people who have made the”Top Tens”:  Top Ten Fashion Designers, Top Ten Bloggers, Top Ten Musicians, Top Ten Authors, Top Ten Wage Earners.

We may never see our name on a “Top Ten” list–or on anyone’s positive kind of list. Things in our lives can easily slip from bad to worse. And it’s entirely possible that some circumstances will never change, no matter how hard we try to influence them. Life may never seem fair. How can we possibly handle that without giving in or giving up?

A Challenging, and Encouraging Opportunity for You

Life can get pretty discouraging if all we focus on is “what might have been” or “what we’ll never see happen.” The prophet Habakkuk dealt with that. But that pattern of thinking could lead us to the wrong conclusion. He ultimately made a right one.The choice is yours.

I have a challenging, and encouraging opportunity for you. Take a few quiet moments this week and meditate on the book of Habakkuk. It’s that short, little-known book near the end of the Old Testament, full of life-changing, relative-to-your-world, kind of stuff. Specifically, read carefully Habakkuk 3:17-19 in your favorite Bible translation.

Imagine a difficult set of circumstances that might emerge at some point in your life or in someone else’s like you. Then jot down your own paraphrase of that Habakkuk passage in a way that could relate to that life situation or occupation. You could write from the perspective of a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a ministry leader, an executive, a secretary, a business man or woman–or whoever you are.

Book Giveaway: Winner Receives a Book of Your Choice

You’re not limited to those verses, but make your paraphrase consistent with the thoughts in Habakkuk. Write your paraphrased thoughts in the comment section below (with your copyright on them, if you wish–they belong to you). The best entry will win one of my books–your choice, whichever ones are available on my website. And even if you don’t win, you might make the “Top Ten Paraphrases of Habakkuk 3:17-19 List.” :-)

An Example for You

God has blessed me as a writer through the years, but all of us experience, days, months, or years, when we play that “waiting” game–times when we probably won’t be featured on anyone’s “Top Ten List,” and times when we must determine where our focus will be, and how we choose to respond. Here’s an example for you with a set of circumstances that could happen in any writer’s life, and a faith response that I truly hope would be mine, no matter what. Here’s a paraphrase of that Habakkuk passage I wrote, using a writer’s viewpoint:

For the Joy of the Lord

and of the Written Word

By Rebecca Barlow Jordan


“Though the sales fade away,

and returns keep coming in;

Though contracts seem a distant memory;

Though fans decline,

and marketing may fail,

Though no checks are arriving in the mail;

Yet  I will rejoice in the Lord my God.

I will wait, and watch, and keep believing.

I will release my dreams for safekeeping

into the hands of my God who gave them

to me. But for the joy of the Lord and

for the written word, and for the sheer

joy of creating pictures and stories,

I will keep writing until He (and maybe my agent)

tells me there is nothing left to write. :-)

(c) 2011, Rebecca Barlow Jordan

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains” Habakkuk 3:17-19, NLT.

Day-votional Thought to Remember:

You’re always #1 on God’s list!!!

Please share your paraphrased Habakkuk words and /or your comments below. (I’ll annouce the winner in two weeks). Your words might encourage someone today! You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this blog to someone or to re-post on social media, using the buttons below. If you’re reading this via newsletter you can always “share” my blogs from the large buttons at the end of each blog on my website here: If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And if you’d like to, you can sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar. Your e-mail address will never be sold or given to anyone!

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    6 Responses to “What If You Never Make the Top Ten–or Anyone’s List?”

    1. Vivian on January 16th, 2012 11:52 am

      Here is my entry to your book giveaway contest. (I love your books and would be thrilled to see one in my mail box!)

      Even though my bones are diseased, and there is little strength in my muscles; even though the medicine fails, and my health gets weaker and weaker; even though my mind is confused, and the doctors don’t know what to do, yet I am happy in My God. I’m comforted knowing that Jesus cares about me. When no one is around, He whispers to my heart, “It’s going to be all right. One day soon all the pain will be over and we’ll fly far away together, over the sunset, to our new home.”

    2. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on January 22nd, 2012 6:27 pm

      Thanks for your “paraphrase” Vivian. Great job!

    3. tami squilla on January 23rd, 2012 5:02 pm

      As the seasons turn, the fall leaves turn brown, the winter snow turn quite cold, the spring turns into mud, the summer heat turns to angry storms, But through it all the change in my heart turns around. The autumn leaves turn bright colors, the white snow cleans my mind and heart, the spring starts the tiny sprouts of blossoming flowers, and summer glows with a cheery warm sunshine upon my face and I smile as God changes my attitude and life is full of his wonderful surprises! God’s love for me keeps me in the palm of his hand and I will praise Him with all of my heart!

    4. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on January 26th, 2012 8:28 pm

      Thank you for your “paraphrase,” Tami. Very nice!

    5. Mom on February 4th, 2012 1:51 pm

      Though my daughter shows no Godly change, and there is no evidence He is working in this situation; Though things go from bad to worse and my faith and hope fail; Though there may be no reason to believe and not one logical explanation for any of this heartache, yet I will still be glad in the Lord; I will rejoice in God my Savior.

    6. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 5th, 2012 4:56 pm

      Thanks, “Mom!” Great paraphrase to remember for all parents!

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