Day 293

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (MSG) Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God.  I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.  Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength.  I run like a deer.  I feel like I’m king of the mountain!

What an amazing perspective on life Mr. Habakkuk had!  He saw in his imagination the devastation that the Judean countryside, the land he loved, was going to go through.  He saw the total loss people would suffer.  He got a glimpse into a not so bright future, but he didn’t cry.  He didn’t question God.  He didn’t feel sorry for himself.  He didn’t give up.  He didn’t ignore it.  Instead, he sang his heart out in joyful praise unto God.

How could someone who had seen such terrible things turn cartwheels of joy?  Imagine a family from Moore Oklahoma seeing a news report a few weeks before the tornado hit that showed their home and family business completely leveled.  They would be happy that they were warned, but sad to know that everything they owned was going to be destroyed.  I’m sure not much jumping for joy or singing would take place after the broadcast ended.

What was Habakkuk’s secret?  How did he manufacture such intense joy in the middle of such a terrible time?  His strength was not in the cherry trees, the strawberries, the apples, the wheat fields, the sheep or the cattle.  His strength was found in God.

How do I know that?  Because whatever a person praises is their strength!

“If by his words, life, or heart a man lives to praise his own achievements and resources, then those are his strength. If by words, life, or heart one praises a person or an idea, then those are his strength. We demonstrate that the Lord God is our strength when we praise Him.” – Guzik

It truly didn’t matter to Habakkuk to see his world as he knew it destroyed, because he could at the same time see his strength in God carrying him through it.  He had such great faith in God he could say with total conviction that in the middle of tragedy, he felt like king of the mountain!

Money, education, possessions, talents, appearance, earthly relationships… all of that stuff will let us down, so why praise it?  Why put our strength in things that can’t pour strength back into us?  I look back at some of the major trials I’ve had in life and thank God that my parents and pastors taught me while I was growing up that God and God alone is where my strength comes from.  I knew to turn to Him before anything or anyone else.

If you want to figure out where your strength lies, pay attention to your praise.  Whatever your life praises is where you will turn for help in a crisis.  The only help that will never fail is help from God.

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

  1. God is the strength of my heart!
  2. God never fails.
  3. We can rejoice even in tragedy because we serve a God who will carry us through.
  4. My parents and pastors taught me that my strength comes from God, so I always knew to turn to him first.
  5. Habakkuk’s beautiful perspective on life.
  6. Cloudy, sleepy morning watching cartoons with my kids.
  7. My sweet niece Emma organized a trip for her school choir up to Shawnee OK to help with the tornado clean up.  She has such a kind heart.
  8. Gus had a fun morning painting his huge Jake & The Neverland Pirates coloring pages he got from Tate for his birthday.
  9. Josh put away dishes and laundry while I took a nap!
  10. Josh got the lawn mowed so we can get out the water slide on Monday.
  11. Filled the house with Disney music this morning.  It just puts everyone in a great mood.
  12. Filled the house with good smells from the white chicken chili I prepared for dinner.
  13. Beau is always up for going to the store or running errands with me.  She’s my little buddy.
  14. I told her she was my buddy when I was strapping her in her car seat and she said, “I’m not buddy, I’m Beau!”
  15. New maternity shorts are super comfy!
  16. Sweet note from my mom on FB about the blog.
  17. Josh found a new park on his run this morning!
  18. Great praise & worship at church tonight.  So happy to have Pastor Ben & Elisa back.
  19. Pastor Jimmy Evan’s I Changed My Mind series has been awesome!
  20. As believers we never die, so we don’t have to fear death.
  21. Lindsay Cochran is so thoughtful and brought Gus an awesome Captain American shield for his birthday!
  22. Miss Lindsay also brought Beau a special pillow pet present that she fell in love with.
  23. I Can Hear Music.  My ringtone when Josh calls and one of the best songs ever.  Your welcome.
  24. Beau asked me what I learned at church.  I told her I learned that I didn’t have to afraid because Jesus is with me and she said, “That’s Right!”
  25. There was a scary spider in my car that got away the other day when I tried to kill it, it was back but this time it didn’t get away!  Can drive around in peace again.
  26. White Chicken Chili was awesome!  Josh was happy happy happy.
  27. The moving tribute and video they showed at church tonight to honor the men and women who have given their lives serving our country.

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