It happened the other day, although I really shouldn't be surprised. I was cutting my grass without incident. I cut my front yard, was making my way towards the back lawn when, lo and behold, one of the wheels came off my lawnmower. No warning or anything. Just abruptly fell off, bringing the lawn care to an abrupt halt. I grabbed a few tools and proceeded to attempt to fix the problem. Much to my dismay, I discovered it would be a tricky repair (as most things I try to repair are difficult). My lawn mower is a self-propelled variety and the wheel had to be placed back on in tedious fashion. I struggled with it for a while, trying to get it screwed back on. After several minutes without success, I called my father-in-law to see if he could help but he was tied up at work. So, I basically gave up for the moment. The wheel repair would have to wait in addition to trimming the rest of the lawn. Later that night, after I got home from Bible study, I again tried to secure the loose wheel. After struggling with it for at least thirty minutes and resisting the temptation to throw my tools, I finally got the blasted thing back on. A simple task had turned into a monumental effort with much physical and mental strain.
You know how some people have the "Midas touch", that is, everything they touch turns to gold? Many times I feel I have an "un-Midas" touch, everything I touch turns to disaster. The simple home repair becomes the horrific project. The easy day at work becomes unbearable. The casual sickness fails to respond to the usual treatment. Basically, nothing seems to go right. Prayers are reduced to simple utterances of "Please help me, God!".
The prophet Habakkuk was also familiar with distresses. He ministered in the land of Judah several decades before the Babylonians captured Jerusalem in 586 B.C. He was keenly aware of a time when life as he knew it would not make sense. Consider the richness of his words from Habakkuk 3:17-19:
"Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet.
And makes me walk on my high places."
Notice his response to his distress, "Yet I will exult in the Lord." Even though life was turning rotten, nothing was working out like it should have, he placed His confidence in the Lord. Perhaps, one day, it would all make sense. Reminds me of the verse from the old hymn, "Farther Along" which states:
"Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by."
So, hold on, don't give up. God has everything under control.