I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. —Habakkuk 2:1 NLT

Our beautiful yellow rose bush did not fare well this year. The troubles started in January with some terrific ice and snow storms. The rose bush stands near a big pine tree, and branches rained down on it relentlessly, crushing some stems and breaking others off altogether. Spring came, and with it, the hope that our bush would recover, but life did not improve. The rains were constant and equally relentless even into summer, when we had the rainiest summer in New Hampshire’s recorded history. Our little bush needed some sunshine as well as rain to attempt a comeback from its winter injuries. I pondered whether or not to remove it.

And then, in November, of all things, our still-standing rose bush decided to pop open a couple of those signature yellow blossoms. As I walked by one day and noticed them, it seemed completely incongruous! It was still sporting mostly dead branches, and even the branches with leaves looked rather sickly, but there amidst the dying bush, the soft yellow, perfectly formed rose buds appeared new and fresh and whole. I was stunned. I smiled.

Sometimes, we get knocked about and beat up like my rose bush. It seems that each season brings fresh pain and new challenges without letup. We feel defeated and ready to be removed. Habakkuk, the prophet, felt that way at a time in the Old Testament when God had promised judgment over Israel. The enemy was strong, and God was enabling the enemy to win. Habakkuk could see no hope.

He did not like the way his life was going, and he wrote a raw, passionate, sometimes even angry, letter to God that we are free to read in our Bibles. He told God his woes and unhappiness. He demanded answers. And then he climbed up his watchtower and stood there. Waiting for answers. Watching for God to come. I love that Habakkuk did not give up or remove himself from prophesying and serving God. I love that he came to God with all his anger and pent-up frustrations and questions.

God answered him at last. We find His words in Chapter 3 of the book of Habakkuk. It wasn’t a happy answer in many ways, as God confirmed that judgment was still coming. But something happened within Habakkuk when he met God. He was astounded, humbled, and blessed by his divine encounter. Like Job, his questions died on his lips. He had seen the Living God, and what he saw enabled him to trust even if his circumstances did not change. Habakkuk’s joy appeared despite the barrenness of those circumstances, just like my little rosebud appeared on a barren bush in November. Being with God was enough. The battles and trials faded into insignificance in the light of God’s great glory.

Hear with me his testimony and rejoice with him that God is faithful to His people despite their circumstances. His love, joy, and peace are offered as roses—even in November.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
–Habakkuk 3:17-19

Heavenly Father, thank You for that sweet rush of joy I felt when I saw my almost-dead little rose bush bravely push forth new buds! Thank You for testimonies like Habakkuk’s that You are enough even in the worst of times. Help me to always run to You, my watchtower, and wait for You in the hard times, Lord. I trust You. No matter what. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

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and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    November 27, 2023 10:55 pm

    I love that story, and what a perfect picture. Such hope and peace in that quote from the prophet. “Even though …., even though ….. yet I will rejoice in the Lord”. Thank you for this message.

    • It was such a bold and beautiful little bud. And it blossomed right out and flashed its yellow at the cold November world. It still makes me smile thinking about its pluck!

  • I love this!!!!!! I love that he was watching and expecting to hear from God.

    • I love that part, too. God loves it when we wait for Him and trust Him in the dark. He will answer and it will be good.


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