Day 20

December 22

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Though the fig tree does not blossom and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.

Yet I will Rejoice

by Burt Burleson, D. Min.

Habakkuk offers a script for an Advent experience that impacts and moves us. Perhaps this sacred script will move us this year.  

Take 15 minutes to read this theological volley between the prophet and the Divine, where Habakkuk expresses what any loving and awakened soul has known and probably put into words. “God, how long will we cry out for help while you just don’t seem to listen.” (1:2)   

Take a look at this text. The prophet names what is (as prophets do) and God poetically names what should be (as God does). And then back-and-forth they go, which is surely familiar for those who have sought God and longed for God’s Shalom.  

“What is it I see? What is it God says?” 

“I want to hope. Can I?” 

“I want to see justice. Will it ever be?"

“I’ll wait patiently, again!” 

Then this short book of the bible ends with an admission that there are no figs, no grapes, no crops... no nothing, but then a simple confession, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.”   

Please take note that this amazing confession comes after the complaints. It emerges on the other side of serious lament, which is the movement of the season of Advent. We begin facing what is. We lament, we wander, we feel what we feel, we get quiet and maybe even still, we listen to voices “crying in the wilderness,” we listen for a promise too, we lament some more. Then, touched once more by the beautifully vulnerable story of the Infinite completely swaddled, perhaps we make our own amazing confession. “I will be joyful in this my Savior.”   

About the Author

Burt Burleson

Burt Burleson, D. Min.

Burt Burleson, D.Min., is the Baylor University Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual Life. Dr. Burleson
is essential to nurturing the depth of faith, spiritual wholeness, and missional life of our Baylor

Dr. Burleson is a native Texan who was born in Beaumont and grew up in Dallas. He holds a bachelor's degree from Baylor, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Austin Presbyterian Seminary. After fifteen years in student ministry and pastoral counseling, Burt became the first pastor of the DaySpring Baptist Church in Waco where he served for 12 and a half years. In October of 2007, he left DaySpring to become University Chaplain at Baylor. He and his wife, Julie, have two children; Abby and Brandt.