Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Friday, January 17, 2020

Let's Hear It for those THOUGHS

I am learning to love the word “though.”

Last month, I enjoyed the privilege of being guest speaker at a Christmas banquet in MacGregor. The women of the Sommerfeld Mennonite Church were warm, welcoming, and responsive. They laughed in all the right places and grew quiet right on cue. And if you ever doubted the adage that Mennonite girls can cook, doubt no longer. I stuffed myself with delicious food even though I could only sample a fraction of their potluck offerings.

That night I shared with the group some of my funniest stories, but also some serious ones. We looked at a short passage from Habakkuk chapter three, clearly written to an agricultural community during a bleak time.

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.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength.”

Do you see all the “thoughs” in that passage? The writer is telling us we can rejoice even in the middle of hardship and pain. I encouraged the women to fill in those “thoughs” with their own “thoughs.” We all have them. Make a list, whatever yours might be. Though my marriage is broken, though I am not receiving healing from this illness, though I am still unemployed, though my loved one has an addiction…you know what yours are, and maybe the list seems extra-long. Once your list is done, add the YET part, like Habakkuk did. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.

Why? Because your story isn’t over. God is in the business of great reversals. We see it all through the Bible. Think of Esther. Job. Gideon. Lazarus. But nowhere more powerfully than at the cross of Christ. What our enemy thought was his greatest victory—the Son of God, dead—turned out to be his greatest defeat. Not only did Jesus return to life, but his resurrection made a way for us all to live forever. The greatest reversal ever.

And God can do the same with your pain. Your “though.” You may not see it today or tomorrow, but one day you will tell the complete story. The ending will be so triumphant, greater than you could have ever imagined (see Ephesians 3:20).

I’ve never jumped on the bandwagon of choosing a theme word for a year, but I’m beginning to think “though” might be a great word for 2020. One day, we will have perfect twenty-twenty vision. We’ll see our lives—past, present, and future—the same way God sees them. We’ll view with clarity the great reversals he performed in our lives when we continued to worship him no matter what.

And we’ll realize the precious value of a little word like “though.”

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