Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A Prayer from Habakkuk to help you release

Habakkuk Prayer of Release

A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“Though the fig tree should 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 fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” 
–Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV)

Many years ago, my spiritual mentor shared these verses with me in an assignment intended for healing.

At the time, I was questioning the goodness of God. Circumstances had occurred that were throwing off plans for my career, my recreational interests and even my family life. I felt rocked to the core and at a loss for what to do. I sat waiting for the resolution of the problems so that I could continue on with my path.

As I was waiting, new opportunities opened up. A new volunteer position was available at a local homeless shelter that fit my specific skill set. I recall thinking that the position would help me get my mind off of the losses I was experiencing. It would be a healthy diversion.

The Habakkuk 3:17 assignment was to rewrite the Scripture to make it specific to the issues and fears in my life. References to the fig tree, fruitfulness, and flocks were replaced with physical disabilities, lack of productivity and broken relationships. I laid out my concerns in worst-case scenarios.

Displaying my greatest fears was an exercise in vulnerability. It felt like I was unzipping myself and revealing a shriveled, scarred heart. That was only half the workload. After uncovering my hurts and highlighting my fear, the rewrite was to include the “yet clause.” A clause that says, “even when and even if these things happen I will remain.” To finish the assignment would require a statement of integrity in faithfulness.

This divine assignment represented God asking me to trust Him in a time when I was questioning Him. Things I thought I had a right to – my body, my time and my relationship – were not at all mine! God was asking, “Will you trust Me, even now?”

That day I wrote the Habakkuk, “Prayer of Release,” I made a vow to the Lord that even if my worst fears come to light, yet I will rejoice and take joy in Him. I let go my will for my life. Given the choice, I decided to exchange grief for joy. It was indeed a healing assignment!

It’s no coincidence that the volunteer opportunity led to a powerful partnership with God in recovery ministry. Holy Spirit-filled work ensued. Miracles occurred. The circumstances of my personal life had not changed, but to call it a healthy diversion was a gross understatement. I experienced God in a whole new way.

This Scripture came to mind as more recent events have me grieving again. Familiar feelings and questions trigger the need renew my vows. Those vows of “I will praise. I will be joyful,” settle the questions of, “What will I do when and if?”

I invite you, my friend, as I was invited, to a healing assignment of making these verses personal. Be vulnerable and illuminate your dark places. Then complete the vow with your “yet clause.”

I’d like to share my example that I wrote for my assignment:

Though my body be permanently broken and painful,

And I am completely incapacitated.

Though I see no light and money is scarce.

Though my closest relationships remain sources of pain

And I am rejected by those I love most,

Yet I will sing praise to my Lord.

Yet I will be joyful in the God who is saving me

He is my strength ... He is the one who makes things happen

He gives me the “feet” I need to walk the path.

Expect your vow to release you into a new area of blessing!

Rather than waiting for situations to change, give God your faith via praise and honor. It will result in a powerful partnership and miracles in your life too!

Author Bio:
Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior.

She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.

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