Just outside my office windows, both at home and here at the church–– neighborhood gray squirrels are scampering around the lawns… each one storing away provisions (primarily acorns) in their private little cache. Later this month or next, they’ll do their best to unearth the stash that is stored away so hastily today. For the most part, I’m told the “average” gray squirrel actually locates only 25% of what will be buried in the lawn this month. Keeping their cupboards filled–– seems to be an endless task; but fruitless in the long run!
With Thanksgiving approaching, later this month… the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk reminds us that the real “test” of thanksgiving is–– Being able to give thanks, when the cupboards are empty! Habakkuk offered this little gem of a prayer in the closing strophe of his prophetic book: “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19, NLT)
One little word found here (so easily overlooked by a casual reading of the text) can make all the difference in the world this Thanksgiving, for us. That word is: “yet” If I could paraphrase his prayer: “Even though the cupboards are empty–– yet… I will trust in the Lord God’s promises and provision!” Thanksgiving: It’s not a question of whether or not your “cupboard is empty”… it’s a question of whether or not your “heart is full!”
Give Thanks… Pastor Daryle