Tucked away in a rarely read book of the Bible there are a few verses, words of a prayer, that provide the odd combination of comfort and challenge. Habakkuk 3:17-19:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, Though the olive crop fails and the field produce no food, Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
Perhaps a more current application of this passage could be summed up by saying:
Though shelves in all the sores are empty, toilet paper and paper towels cannot be found,
Though the fast food stores are out of freshly ground beef,
Though both husband and wife have been laid off, and the unemployment checks have not been received,
Though all the children are home from school, and we cannot visit our parents in nursing homes,
Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength, He makes the path straight, He is our provider, He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Covid-19 has NOT changed the God we serve.
Covid-19 and all the challenges it brings is not a surprise to God. News reporters remind us on a consistent basis that we live in uncertain times. That is true if or when we view our circumstances through our human eyes and understanding. However, God has NOT changed. Yes, He IS the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
Psalm 90:1-2 remind us: Lord, YOU have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God! (I HAD to put an exclamation point at the end of this statement.)
The challenge: We live daily in the era of Covid-19, the uncertainties of its impact on our future in various aspects of our lives. However, we are faced daily, and at times moment-by-moment to realize and apply the truth of this passage. As we reflect on the truth of God’s Word, His faithfulness amid trials and storms, we are encouraged and find comfort. One of the old hymns reminds us, “I don’t know about tomorrow, BUT I KNOW WHO HOLDS MY HAND!” Perhaps you thought of the words to the song, “It Is Well With My Soul.” And indeed if it is, that is reason enough to say, “Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior!”
Note: take the time to substitute “covid-19” and the challenges associated with this virus and replace it with your own set of circumstances – the loss of a loved one, divorce, family conflict, employment or health issues. The truth of this passage stands the test of time.