"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. 3:17, 18). Observe, I entreat you, how calamitous a circumstance is here supposed, and how heroic a faith is expressed. It is really as if he said, "Though I should be reduced to so great extremity as not to know where to find my necessary food, though I should look around about me on an empty house and a desolate field, and see the marks of the Divine scourge where I had once seen the fruits of God's bounty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord." Methinks these words are worthy of being written as with a diamond on a rock forever. Oh, that by Divine grace they might be deeply engraven on each of our hearts! Concise as the form of speaking in the text is, it evidently implies or expresses the following particulars: That in the day of his distress he would fly to God; that he would maintain a holy composure of spirit under this dark dispensation, nay, that in the midst of all he would indulge in a sacred joy in God, and a cheerful expectation from Him. Heroic confidence! Illustrious faith! Unconquerable love!--Doddridge. Last night I heard a robin singing in the rain, And the raindrop's patter made a sweet refrain, Making all the sweeter the music of the strain. So, I thought, when trouble comes, as trouble will, Why should I stop singing? Just beyond the hill It may be that sunshine floods the green world still. He who faces the trouble with a heart of cheer Makes the burden lighter. If there falls a tear, Sweeter is the cadence in the song we hear. I have learned your lesson, bird with dappled wing, Listening to your music with its lilt of spring When the storm-cloud darkens, then's the TIME to sing. --Eben E. Rexford
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