Advent 3, Saturday, Year B

Inspired by Habakkuk 3:13-19

“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, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19a (NRSV)

God is with you. So what? When everything seems to be going wrong in life, when nothing seems to be working out or going your way, what good is having God with you? It doesn’t seem as though faith in God protects people from starvation, natural disasters, or violence, so what’s the point in having faith in a God who doesn’t seem to do anything useful?

Yet there are people who seem to have lost everything, and still have a quiet dignity and unshakable spirit about them. They acknowledge their pain, the tragedy that has befallen them, and they acknowledge just how difficult and uncertain the road ahead is. Yet they are hopeful and determined. They will not be beaten by the ills of this world, and they recognize the small blessings that still exist in their lives. Without exception, those people have faith in God. Their serenity in the face of chaos gives those around them the courage and the strength to move forward and not give up, and then healing and rebuilding takes the place of disaster and tragedy. Creation is renewed.

It’s always nice when things go well, but our God is a God who enables us to stand strong in the face of misfortune and sin, and whose creative and redeeming power cannot be diminished by those things which seek to destroy. Our God is a God who not only walks with us in the good times, but who carries us and revives us in the bad.

Let us pray. Faithful God, you are with us in good times and in bad. Strengthen our faith in you, that we can be blessed ourselves and be a blessing to others, and thus be part of your redemptive healing in the world. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.