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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Aren’t You Listening, Lord?

"Patience is the ballast of the soul
that will keep it from rolling and tumbling
in the greatest storms."
~ Charles Hopkins

Aren’t You Listening, Lord?

The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.
O LORD, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, "Violence!"
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
~ Habakkuk 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Habakkuk carries the burden which accompanies being a prophet: he sees certain atrocities through the eyes of the Lord, yet lacks the Lord’s comprehensive perspective of all else. Habakkuk knows in his heart that God has a plan, but he grows impatient to see it materialize. His words amount to an exasperated, “Aren’t You listening, Lord?”—as if to provoke the Lord to act and prove Himself attentive.

His rant spent, Habakkuk must now face the Lord. He knows full well the Lord heard him. One can feel the prophet’s chagrin as he pauses:
I will ... watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.

The Lord does not rebuke His servant. Perhaps He is satisfied with such acknowledgment. Perhaps He feels the same exasperation with evil. Perhaps the harsher revelation to follow (chapter 2), of judgment upon the nation, is sufficiently punitive, as evidenced by Habakkuk’s response:
My body trembled;
My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones;
And I trembled in myself
... (3:16)

Even so, Habakkuk concludes thus:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer's feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Do you weary of what is not right in your life? Do you come to church seeking answers and walk away with more questions? Have you cried out to God and accused Him of stalling though He hears? Have you dared, as Job and Abraham and David and Habakkuk did, to question God—then caught yourself as you remember to Whom you speak?

These men waited long upon the Lord for an answer. They eventually received the reward of their faith. But along the way, the answers were not always what they expected.

Ancient of Days, all eternity lies before you. We are frail children of dust, who live in the moment. Please strengthen us to wait upon You. Please give ear to our cries.

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  1. I love this Anne. It is definitely something most Christians grapple with at one time or another. I love the comfort the psalmist gives us when he states, "Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." (116:2) I think it's good we recall times of God's hand moving in our lives so when we feel distant we can recall this psalm with vigor and really dig into it's meaning. He does hear and He does answer.

  2. I have learned to be patient, His timing is always right on time. I love you sis.

  3. We have been praying, and waiting for nearly 3 years. Thank you for the reminder of what we know so well, but sometimes forget, that God knows and hears everything. Thank you.

  4. T ~ It is good to recall, it is good to be reminded by others, it is good to do the reminding.

    Denise ~ You are a great encouragement to me with your testimony of patient praise.

    Catherine ~ Three years is a LONG time to wait. Be encouraged by people like Noah (in the ark over a year), Abraham (waited 25 yrs for a son), Moses (40 yrs as a shepherd, then another 40 wandering through the desert), David (waited 10-15 years—mostly as a fugitive—before receiving the throne after being anointed king), Daniel (70 yrs a captive in Babylon)—I could go on. Anyway, we're in very good company.

  5. Yes, to your questions ... a thousand times yes.

  6. Susan ~ You too. *sigh* Thank you for saying so.


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