Friday, July 6, 2012

Micah 4-7, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew 1-4


Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls --
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer's feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

First of all, i love the use of "joy" as a verb. "I will joy in the God of my salvation." This is why i like older translations of the Bible -- little grammatical surprises that are perfectly correct and perfectly lovely.

Secondly, it's been a shitty year. A lot of stuff has fallen on my head since i graduated: new stresses and responsibilities, family trauma, roommate tensions, heavy homework loads, and so forth. It's a lot to carry.

My academic adviser for grad school has taught two of my classes. He starts each class with a reading from "Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul", and then asks for prayer requests, and then prays for all of us. He has a big heart and a razor-sharp mind. He helped develop the curriculum standards for Massachusetts, and is widely known and respected in the field. He goes to my church. He is warm and compassionate, gentle and merciful, brilliant and dedicated.

Last week, he was riding his bike and the front tire struck something. He flipped over his handlebars and landed head first. His helmet was split in half, and there was extensive bleeding in his brain. His face was also badly damaged. He was rushed to a neurosurgeon, and we have all been anxiously awaiting updates. It seems that he is mostly okay, that the damage was relatively minimal, and the doctors seem more concerned about his face than his brain, which is a good sign.

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

It's not always a question of God "doing something" about the shitty parts of our lives. It's not always about a miraculous rescue, or total protection from all harm, or unimaginable prosperity and happiness. Sometimes, it's just about Him being there, by your side, when the shit inevitably hits the fan. Sometimes, the greatest miracle we can ask for is a friend to stand beside us no matter what.

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