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;Habakkuk
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Reminds me of Paul who wrote something similar many years later. “I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, in plenty or in want: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I can never claim full responsibility for what happens to me, good or bad. An example from my job: successful investors tend to focus on the process rather than the outcome. I put in the time to understand deeply the market or business. I also do the emotional work to remain steady through the market ups and downs. But I know that even if all this is done with excellence, I cannot control whether a given trade will be profitable or not. Even more than in other parts of life, chance always plays a role in the markets. Although I can skew the probabilities in my favor, circumstances outside my control will determine whether any given trade is successful.
God also does not promise us success as the world counts success. We can, and should, do our best to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. Work hard. Put in the creative effort to succeed in your job or business. But remember that time and chance happen to all:
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.Ecclesiastes
Solomon was cynical and world-weary but there is truth in what he wrote. Not that we should adopt his attitude, his cynicism, but remember to resist judgement on ourselves and others. God has given each of us some resources: time, talents, money, friends, family. Some have much, some have little. If I can just do my best with what God has entrusted to me, that is enough. Do not fixate on the outcome, but on the process of daily being faithful in the little things. “I do not even judge myself,” rather, with Habakkuk, “Rejoice in the Lord” and “take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Scripture quotations from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV®. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.