"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 my salvation!"
- Habakkuk 3:17-18
My focus will not be on the emptiness and lack of fruits, but on the God who empties and fills as He pleases. He alone knows what is needed for each of us - how much fruit to encourage us, how much fruitlessness to humble and strengthen us.
I want to know the strength and hope that kept Paul going even after all that he had to go through. And if this is what it takes to understand it, then I will gladly join the club.