“O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”
August is often referred to as the “dog days of summer.” If you live in the part of the United States where it’s hot, it is easy to become weary with the heat of the summer in August. The everyday heat, and in some places close to triple digits, can be wearisome having to deal with it. In the dog days of summer, you often begin to look forward to the fall of the year so that you can get away from the heat.
However, it is interesting that in the winter months, you couldn’t wait for summertime. When the cold of winter is miserable; the shoveling of the snow is no longer exciting; the bite of the bitter cold is wearing on you; this is when you start looking forward to the heat of summer. You can enjoy the whole summer if you don’t let the dog days destroy it.
The verse above is very much like the dog days of summer. Habakkuk said, “O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years…” The word “midst” is talking about those middle years. It is interesting that the middle years become the dog years of life. It is the middle years of a relationship that becomes the dog days of that relationship. What happens is the newness has worn out, and you find reasons that you no longer want to be in your marriage, go to your church, or keep the job you once used to desire.
My friend, the thing you once used to enjoy is still there if you don’t let the dog days take your focus away from what you have. Your discovery of the unpleasantries of a person, church or job didn’t just happen; they were there when you chose to be a part of these relationships. Your problem is that you have allowed the dog days to take your focus away from what you enjoyed about these things. Let me talk about these things with you.
First, be careful about running from relationships in the dog days of that relationship. Many marriages could be salvaged if both sides in that relationship stopped letting the discovery of weaknesses to destroy their marriage. Let me assure you, the other person you think is much better than your spouse has unpleasant weaknesses that you will discover about them when you hit the dog days in that relationship. You would be better to work through the dog days of every relationship than to run to another relationship. If you run from every relationship every time you become disenchanted with it, you will be running for the rest of your life. The answer is not to run; the answer is to work through your problems.
Second, the other church that you think is so perfect has weaknesses as well. If you are part of a thriving church that is reaching people for Christ, you better work through your differences with that church because there are not many churches that are aggressively reaching the lost. You might run to another church only to find that it is dead. Instead of looking for a new church, get involved with the one you have so that you can help to make it better.
Third, be careful about jumping from job to job; it will eventually come back to get you. Just because another job looks good doesn’t mean it won’t have its problems. If you will stop looking for another job, you can make the job you have the best job in the world. Don’t jump when the dog days come.