Habbakuk 3

I’m coming to realize as an old duffer that I have a large library. I’m humbly proud to admit that most of the books in my library I’ve actually read. Some of them haven’t  been colored in yet but they will be. My books are my friends. They surround me in the spaces of my house from my bedroom, to my comfort chair, to my office, to the place where work on my computer. Just because my books are my friends doesn’t mean I treat them very well. My wife, being a former librarian, is aghast at the way I treat books. I bend the edges of pages, I write notes in the margins, I set them facedown open so that I can mark the spot that I want to reread again. I separated the backs from the glue that holds them together and in general I don’t think I treat them very well. But I do remember what’s in them. In the last few weeks I have been particularly interested in our fathers in the faith and their views about mission, mercy, leadership, preaching, and the office of the ministry and it’s relation to congregations.  I have been thinking about the things that we work on that may not always be successful. Things that we try hard to make work that don’t, things that should work that we don’t try, and the things that we give up trying on because we don’t want to work so hard anymore. I found this little gem in one of my old books.  This is a professor who used to teach people about preaching. He writes –

“This is a saved the world. The triumph is secure. The end is already been accomplished. This gospel of the kingdom must be preached, and in it’s preaching you will not find your words in vain. Christ is Lord, and God will win. And if you see no results, what then?  Then listen to this – the noblest declaration of pure faith recorded in the scripture, spoken by Habakkuk, a man who faced life with deep problems in his heart: “though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the field and there by no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”  And when you speak with that conviction in the depths of your heart, you will hear another question on the lips of those who hear: “did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us?”  Alton Wedel