“ Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. ” — Habakkuk 3:17-18
As a missionary, Allen Gardiner experienced tremendous physical difficulties and hardships in service to God. Yet, even in the midst of his despair, he maintained his focus on the goodness of God. He once said, “While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me!”
When he was 57 in 1861, Gardiner died of disease and starvation while serving on an island off the southern tip of South America. Among his earthly belongings was found his diary, bearing record of hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. In his last entry, his trembling hands wrote the words, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”
It’s amazing how someone in such dire circumstances can testify to the goodness of God. Yet, the reason such a testimony is possible is because in the hardest of times, it’s possible to see God’s goodness even more clearly. While we see the world around us and even our very selves decaying, our hardship becomes a dark backdrop against which God’s goodness shines ever brighter.
God is good all the time – even in the midst of our pain. So in the face of suffering and anguish, find refuge in the goodness of the Lord. Dwell on His character as a God of peace, love, and grace. Stand firm in God’s goodness and you’ll weather any storm you face!
Pray and ask God to help you stand firm and focus on His goodness as you weather the storms of life.
Questions for thought
God is faithful and good in the midst of any storm you face. What are some steps you can take to dwell on His goodness when you face tough circumstances?
What “dark backdrop” of pain are you facing today that can magnify God’s goodness in your life?