“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 field, 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.” Habakuk 3:17-19NLT

This morning I’ve read and reread over and over an email I received. I keep going back to one line. The same line. Over and over. As a precious child tugs on your hand for attention, this one line is relentlessly tugging on my heart today.

“I think of you often and how you have managed”

Ten words, one line, and between each word I believe there are countless unasked questions. Questions seeking answers. A longing for resolution. Perhaps even a way to find peace and comfort. To make sense out of the senseless. To find light in the darkness.

Possibly a slight desperation, a needing to know how they will manage the thing they have run head on into. A vulnerability. The unexpected.

And I sense God whispering in my ear, ‘Sweet Child, I put you in this place for this very reason, so that you may encourage others as they are called to step out into the deep waters, as I have called you’.

So with as much humility this human skin can have(not much I tell you..smile), raw honesty, what I pray to be true authenticity and transparency, and a whole bunch of God’s Grace heaped upon my head, I will answer the question.

With God.

You see through every season, every moment of my life, including what I call the dark time, where I chose to turn away from Him, up to the very point where I literally, physically fell flat on my face while running, God was preparing me for what was to come.

I knew after that dark period that I never wanted to do this thing called life ever again without Him. Praise Him for relentless pursuit of me!

When I became ill, I claimed the very scriptures I used to claim when I ran. I dug into His Word and listed every affirmation and promise that He had me, He was holding me up, holding my hand. Walking through the darkest valleys with me. Meeting me out in the deep. That He was in this place with me.

I laid every fear and anxiety and every vulnerability out before Him. I called on faithful prayer warriors to pray over me.

I begged Him for faith and trust that He had plans to prosper me and not to harm me.

And when I was to weak to pray, or to rant my needs and fears before Him, I fell back into His loving arms and basked in His love and tender mercies for me.

With God. Rejoicing in Him. Praising Him. Even when there are no crops in the field. Even when your are faced with your greatest battle. Still counting blessings.

Had I chosen any other way, I would be an angry and bitter person today. An empty shell of who I once was. But I am stronger, through Him and in Him. My relationship with The Lord is deeper than the valleys I walk through.

If, today, you are wondering how you will manage this thing, this place that God has put you in, I pray you will turn to Him. To lean on and lean into Him. To ask for faith and trust. That you will be raw and honest before Him. Find and enlist faithful prayer warriors. And praise Him in the valleys and on the mountaintops.

Through Him you can do all things!

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18NLT

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn