I woke up abruptly a few mornings ago at about 3am. I’m not sure why. Truthfully I haven’t slept soundly in almost a month so to be awake at this hour wasn’t unusual. I decided to go and read to put myself back to sleep but as I began my short walk to the lounge I noticed light and A LOT of it. Intrigued and curious about its source I walked to the balcony and went outside. What I saw took my breath away. The moon, full and bright hung proudly over the horizon and the light that was oozing from it lit up the entire ocean and coastline. I have never in my short life seen moonlight like this before and I couldn’t help but sit in the glory of it and breathe in every last bit of the moment.
As I sat overlooking the ocean I remembered a scripture that has continued to resurrected itself throughout my life time.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields 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 Saviour. He is my strength. He will place my feet on high hills
The first time I read this I was navigating a 19 year old broken heart. Dyl and I were dating and, truth is, we weren’t quite the poster couple for how to do it well. So we broke up and made an attempt to figure out who we were alone before we could make anything work together. I was devastated understandably, and in my brokenness an older and much wiser woman friend shared truth about acknowledging pain and yet still choosing to praise God even through it all.
As a 19 year old broken heart I could relate to the extent of loss the prophet describes in this scripture. He reveals the true nature of the despair surrounding him and yet He still finds courage to remember who God is and rejoice in the salvation and joy that follows Him.
As I stared at the moon that early morning I felt God encourage me yet again to engage the realness of my pain and disappointment. To acknowledge that I am sad some days. That the uncertainty of our day to day has taken its toll on my mind. I have acknowledged that I don’t want to school my children on what was meant to be my “island dream holiday’. I feel angered by the Corona virus and what it has done to so many. I am constantly floored at the nastiness and opinions I have encountered online. And yet although the situation seems bleak and dark there is this person (Jesus) who continues to light up my night sky.
My husband talks about this thing called Gospel Resolve (inspired by Tim Keller). Where we choose, despite how we feel, to consider the truth in every season. Gospel resolve means despite the circumstances, seeing and believing, that God is good and believing that He is at work and will see us through no matter what we face. Gospel resolve forms the lyrics of popular Christian songs like “EVEN WHEN I DON’T SEE IT AND FEEL IT HE’S WORKING.” (Way maker) and “I won’t bow to idols, I’ll stand strong and worship You. And if it puts me in the fire, I’ll rejoice ’cause You’re there too. I won’t be formed by feelings, I hold fast to what is true. If the cross brings transformation then I’ll be crucified with You” from Christ be magnified. Gospel resolve is what calls the prophet from a place of acknowledging real pain and feelings toward declaring who God is and reminding Himself of His saving nature.
I truly believe that this time is going to pull us towards the end of ourselves. It is wildly uncomfortable and radically painful. We are being asked to assess the way in which we exist and co-exist? We’re being asked to be together in a way that most of us are not used to at all. There is so much being called from us and I know that it may feel like you have nothing left but I promise you, YOU DO. You have more in you than you believe. You are resilient. You are courageous. You have capacity. You married your husband for an apparent good reason – find it if you have forgotten. You have the wisdom and grace you need to navigate school in lockdown. You were given beautiful children to nurture and lead. DO THAT. Don’t be pressurised – lead their school space and do what you can each day. OUR KIDS WILL BE FINE!
There may be evidence of destruction all around us but YET we can choose to rejoice and we must worship. In all of our lives and in every season HE IS STILL GOD. Because of who HE is and because of HIs saving nature WE HAVE REASON to sing. WE HAVE REASON TO WORSHIP. (Hillsong worship)
So hang in there. Acknowledge the pain and then find Gospel resolve. You may be surprised to find what lies in the depths of who you are.