When you have prayed and prayed. When you have done all that you know to do and yet the answer has not come, what do you do? Habakkuk reminds us – take position.
The prophet Habakkuk in chapter 1 of this small book in the Old Testament, has just finished an intense, honest session with God, complaining, questioning, and expressing his feelings and frustrations. He is very concerned about the things going on around him, among Godâ€™s people. He sees the sin, the disobedience, he is really burdened. And he has faithfully been taking his burdens to the Lord in prayer, and for a long time, it seems. He is burdened not just because of the peopleâ€™s sin but also because it seems to him like God is not doing anything about this whole thing. So he is asking God some serious questions. But God seems silent!
In the second half of chapter 1, God finally replies. God gives Habakkuk a reply he least expected. God says He is raising up the Chaldeans to discipline the Israelites! And Habakkuk is shocked – those cruel and ruthless people? Much as he wanted a response, he could not understand this. How could you a good and holy God, use those cruel and unholy people to accomplish your work? And Habakkuk continues to wrestle with God.
And now, in chapter 2 and verse 1, we see a huge change in Habakkuk’s attitude, a submission, and surrender that is worthy of note. When all the wrestling is done, when all the questions have been asked, when all the burdens have been laid out before the Lord, now Habakkuk, takes his hands off and steps back. He says I will step back, ponder, listen, and try to understand, the Lord and His ways. He is done with the wrestling, he is done with his questions. Having laid it all bare before the Lord, now Habakkuk has moved to a place of trust. There is a sense of anticipation, an excitement to look forward to watching God in action.
What is it that you have been praying about for years? Are you confused, wondering why God doesn’t seem to be doing anything in answer to your prayers? Have you received unexpected answers that have taken you by surprise? Would you join Habakkuk and take position? Be still and wait on Him. Wait in anticipation and eagerness. Trust God and His ways!
Dear Lord, help me to wait in eager anticipation, to trust You and Your ways wholeheartedly.