What I have been worried over today is something that comes up periodically and I have the same reaction every time. What if.... And my mind goes into the worst case scenarios complete with imaginary conversations about what I will say if it does happen and the first steps I will take to move forward from it. I do pray, but my mind is working so fast I can't hear what God has to say and I certainly am unable to stop the flow of thoughts long enough to pay attention. WHY!? Why do I do that to myself over something that hasn't even happened?
So I came home today and prayed to the Lord to help me, to bring me some peace and to let me see how to handle the situation and I listened for where God wanted me to read and came to Habakkuk. I read the whole book, kind of wondering when God was going to speak because honestly it seemed a little inapplicable. I read through the last chapter, got up to see if the bus was coming, and the light came on. The last verses of the last chapter of the book were the exact words I needed to hear. A little background, Habakkuk had just heard of the mass destruction that was to come on the Israelite people. He was frightened, but he had resolve. See below:
16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
What Habakkuk was hearing was awful, more awful than any situation I have been in myself. Yet Habakkuk proclaims that he will find his strength in the Lord and he will still have joy. That is a promise I want to claim for myself, that I can walk in strength and joy even in rough times. But even that is not the biggest point that struck me. Notice the underlined section..."he will make me to walk upon mine high places"....I immediately thought of the high places as in the books of Kings, where God instructed kings in particular to take down the high places, which in that day were places of pagan worship. And the thought occurred to me that I was putting the worry, anxiety and fear, this thought as my high place. My mind was set on worry and I set the thoughts in my mind above the place where God could reach them. Not that He couldn't, I had just elevated them to a point where I couldn't focus on Him, I couldn't focus on truth. So when I read that verse it said to me that God not only could reach my anxiety, He would strengthen me so that I may not only overcome it, I will walk all over the top of it. Stomp it down. Tear it down just as the righteous kings in ancient Israel did to the high places of worship. I hope that speaks to you as much as it did to me. There is victory, peace, strength and joy even in our worst moments. I pasted one of the examples of high places from 2 Kings below just so you could see. (I also looked in Strongs and though there are several meanings for high places, the one in 2 Kings is the same as the one in Habakkuk). What are the high places in your life that you need to walk on, trample, and tear down?
18 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.
4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.