[Written seven years ago in the midst of Barbara’s debilitating illness of chronic Lymes disease and depression, and the deterioration it brought].
In this difficult time we want to continue to follow Habakkuk’s example in Habakkuk 3:17-19
“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, (Yahweh)
I will BE JOYFUL in God (Elohim) my Savior.
[these are acts of the will, leading Habakkuk’s emotions to the proper place of rest in God.]
Like Habakkuk, in the midst of my wife’s difficulties, I choose to rejoice in you, Lord, for you are good always, you are the source of our joy–not our having things go the way we want.
As I praise you for what you are going to do in Barbara’s illness, Lord. I can let go of the negatives and cling to you. I praise you for what you are doing, for what you are planning, for what you will work out, as you did with Old Testament Joseph in all he suffered.
Help us all to respond as Joseph did, trusting you, bringing glory to your name, and healing to our souls. I thank you for the unseen things you are going to accomplish through this, for the good that you will draw out of it. I ask for your guidance in what I should do to join your purposes.
Lord Jesus, you are the Wonderful One, full of wisdom, grace, righteousness, mercy, justice, goodness and power. You are the One who can overrule in any situation you desire. You could have worked Barbara’s illness out in another way, but you allowed and guided things in this direction, so we choose to trust you with praise and to look at the bigger picture of what you are doing in shaping our character and giving us opportunity to honor you in trust.
Lord, to belong to you, to be your possession, to personally know you is wonderful, marvelous, majestic. “Blessed” is way too mild a word! To know that you chose us, wanted us as your children, sought us out, bought us, adopted us, transformed us, and that you richly, wholeheartedly love and cherish us–this is awe-inspiringly marvelous! It is more than we could ever have imagined or hoped for, especially in the light of what we actually deserved (punishment, rejection, suffering, eternal separation from you and all that is good).
So we choose to trust you through praise, knowing that you have laid out the race before us, empowering us to run it with perseverance and patience. And we run, looking to you, Lord Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, knowing that as we look ahead to the joy you have for us, we can endure whatever cross you give us, for we will be seated with you at the banquet table of your wedding feast in Heaven (Heb. 12:1-3).
[Epilogue: after years of depression and difficulty for Barbara, there has been marked improvement in the last months. We are thankful!]