I really appreciated Pastor Mishawn's encouraging word on Sunday on how to follow and trust God when life doesn't look how we think it "should" and it is instead marked by discomfort, discouragement, or disappointment.
This last week DEFINITELY did not look like I thought it "should." We had to make a bunch of changes for things that I was supposed to be leading on Sunday and Monday because our whole family was in quarantine since last week. Our planned moving day didn't look like it "should" and even turned into 3-4 days as we cleaned and rearranged rooms at the Snyder house (previously known as the White House) to be able to move everything back, emptied the Cortes house (aka the Gray House), and then cleaned it to prepare it for the Cortes family without any help...let me tell you that many hands really DO make light work and we missed all of the hands that had offered to help us on Saturday but couldn't do so because of Covid precautions. That didn't go how we thought it should go! 😂
But, we were able to navigate that ok. It was tiring, but we're all ok and so far doing fine as far as Covid goes (all tests negative on Monday and will retest tomorrow to confirm that we can end quarantine with a family of this size). But in the midst of that, there have been other things weighing on my heart and mind. Things like knowing that my brother Jessy is losing family and friends to covid back home in India and my brother Ivan lost family in Ecuador as the country is going through another wave of cases. I have also been thinking of friends and members of our church family who have been praying, hoping, and waiting and yet the answer to prayer seems too far away. I have been burdened by the sadness of seeing people cut short the work of God in their lives by choosing the broad way that leads to destruction rather than receiving correction to grow and mature. The sadness of seeing people compromise the truth and conform to the patterns and systems of this world. The sadness of seeing others facing persecution for their faith or for their ethnicity.
All of these things make me cry out with Habakkuk (1:2-3, 5):
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
He had other things to be discouraged and distressed about but then GOD answers Him:
5 “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe, even if you were told.
How long oh Lord??? Whenever we find ourselves facing problems, pressures, persecution, pain, or perplexing circumstances it's tempting to quit, to be overwhelmed, to lose hope, to even walk away from God, but the invitation is to TRUST Him even when it hurts. To trust God even when, like the church in Revelation and much of the church around the world today, there is pain, persecution, and pressure to conform or to compromise!
Today I am making this passage from Habakkuk 3:17-18 my prayer of trusting and rejoicing and I invite you to make it yours too:
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 Savior.
I encourage you to check out Mishawn's message if you haven't done so, or go back and listen again if you need to.