Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | August 10, 2013

August 10, 2013 “Cartwheels of Joy”

“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.” (Habakkuk 3: 17-18- The Message Bible)

Good Morning and Blessed Saturday to All!

I would like you to think about something with me today concerning relationships you have. I believe most of us have people in our lives to whom we are particularly close…our spouse…our parents…our siblings…our friends. Usually, but not always, there is a bond of love that holds those relationships together. What happens to our relationships in those times of testing? What happens, for example, when our spouse says or does something that disappoints us? What happens to our relationship with a son or daughter who disobeys? What becomes of a friendship if a favor is asked and left unfulfilled? How do we react? The human tendency we have is to feel hurt, betrayed, angered, disappointed. Our reaction may involve withdrawing from that person, and in some cases, even severing our relationship with that person. Taking it a step further as Habakkuk…suppose that relationship is with Almighty God? What if God does not bless us as we have come to expect God to bless us? Maybe we have prayed for some specific thing and have not received it. Maybe instead of expected prosperity , some calamity strikes? It brings into question the quality of the relationship we have in God…the trust we place in him…even the very nature of the relationship. Habakkuk lays out this amazing prayer of praise, which might be called an “Even If” prayer. Even if the trees don’t blossom…even if the berries don’t ripen…even if the apples are full of worms…even if all the livestock is gone…I will be singing praises to God and doing cartwheels of joy, for I am saved! I am redeemed! Habakkuk got it! His relationship with God was not measured by the material blessings of God, but the incorruptible spiritual blessing of salvation! For him, this was reason enough to give God praise. Outward circumstances did not determine the quality of his relationship with God, but inward realities brought forth “Cartwheels of joy.”  In all your relationships, consider their foundation before you react. Let’s pray!

All praise and Thanks to You, O Lord God, our Redeemer and our Friend! How we praise You for the gift of grace undeserved! We come with rejoicing into Your presence this day, and lift up Your most Holy Name! God be praised, now and forevermore! Amen!

 

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