The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, June 19, 2023, was written by Laura Kuehn of Connecticut.
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 sister always flips to the back of a new book to see how the story will end. Not me. I love entering into the world of the characters and joining them on their journeys. I have no interest in knowing how things will end ahead of time. I can’t say the same for my own life. I’d love a peek at my future. Soon my last child will reach adulthood. For years being a mom has given me purpose. What will happen when that role ends?
The book of Habakkuk gives me comfort. Habakkuk laments the violence and destruction that surrounds him. His situation doesn’t change; yet, by the end of the book, he is rejoicing. What made the difference? God tells him how the story ends. I imagine God saying, “Don’t worry, Habakkuk. I’ve got this. It’s going to be okay.” Knowing God’s plans for the future renewed Habakkuk’s faith in God’s sovereignty in the present. Confusion and fear lost their grip on his heart. I may not know what my life will look like in a few years, but, as in Habakkuk’s case, God has shown me how things will end. One day, I will be remade in the likeness of Christ and will live with him forever. Now that’s worth flipping to the end.
Some of you may remember playing with a “magic” 8 ball when you were a teenager. The premise is simple: Ask the “magic” 8 ball a question, shake it to reveal the answer to your question. The questions had to be framed to elicit a simple response: “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe.” Very few of us would make major life decisions based on a “magic” 8 ball. Yet, many of us would like to know what the future holds for us and those we love. Will our children be successful in their endeavors? Will we meet the person of our dreams? Should we take the new job in another state?
We may not know what the future holds for us, but we have relationship with the one who holds the future. Laura’s reflection reminds us to seek God for guidance and reassurance, especially amidst the uncertain times we live in. Trusting God to lead us, where we have not gone before, is an act of faith and obedience. Yet, when we pause to consider how God has led us in the past, we can move forward with confidence that God knows the best path for us.
Dear God, thank you for revealing to us the glorious end. Help us to trust in your good plans for our lives. Amen.
- Jennifer Kingsley