At the beginning of each year you’ll usually hear or read about a list of people who have made the “Top Ten”: 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.
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!!!
What are your paraphrased Habakkuk words?