The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, November 8, 2023, was written by Linawati Santoso of East Java, Indonesia
16 I hear, and I tremble within; my lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones, and my steps tremble beneath me. I wait quietly for the day of calamity to come upon the people who attack us. 17 Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 NRSV
My birthday was coming up, and I really wanted to celebrate it with a cake. The problem was that we did not have enough money to buy one. My sister knew I wanted cake, so she made one. Instead of using flour, butter, and milk. She used sweet potatoes and coconut. First my sister steamed the sweet potatoes and then she mashed them. Then she shaped them into a cake and sprinkled it with grated coconut.
My sister did not spend much money making that cake. Sweet potatoes and coconut were inexpensive, but the cake was beautiful and delicious. I was so happy! I thanked God for my special birthday cake.
From this experience I realized that happiness is not dependent on money or wealth. This is why Habakkuk could rejoice despite having no crops or livestock or other material wealth.
Today we may not have much money or wealth. We cannot buy everything we like. But we still can be happy. Because we have God, we have everything we need in life. Like Habakkuk, we can rejoice in the Lord.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
I invite you to reread Linawati's reflection, asking yourself: How will I chose God over the pursuit of material things today?
Dear God, help us not to rely on money or wealth for our happiness. Remind us that true joy comes only from you. Amen.