I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting. In our instant-gratification society, waiting is just hard, isn’t it?
Sometimes waiting is merely inconvenient, like waiting for your food or for someone who’s running late. But sometimes waiting is distressing or downright painful.
Maybe you’re in the middle of one of those kinds of waiting. Your heart may be asking, “How long, O Lord?”
Perhaps you’re waiting for a job or for a friend to be a friend. Perhaps you’re waiting for someone to love you or to find someone whom you can love back. Are you waiting for a break—or a baby? Are you waiting for a child to say they’re
sorry, reconciliation, or an important prayer to be answered?
Maybe you’re waiting for the bullying or betrayal to stop—or the lying, hating, injustice, corruption, or hurt. Or perhaps you are in a crisis of faith that needs to be resolved.
Well, if those are the sort of things that are in your heart, keep reading. And if that’s not you, still keep reading because... it will be. Trust me. All of us will be waiting for something before we see God face to face.
That’s what waiting periods are for—to know God in a better way, to know yourself in a new way, and to understand others with hard-earned wisdom. God wants to see all that and much more happen in our hearts and lives during
the waiting—just as it did for the prophet Habakkuk.
One thing I love about Habakkuk is that the whole of the book is one big prayer time. At the very beginning, in chapter one, Habakkuk opens his prayer by “pestering” God with questions. But he doesn’t feel that God has been giving him
any answers. So, he asks God more boldly.
Habakkuk essentially says to God, “This world I live in is a mess. This society is falling apart. Israel is a mess. The Babylonians are coming or so they say.”
Yes, he’s whining and grumbling; but Habakkuk truly wants to hear from God. So he cries out in his waiting. And God answers, though likely not the way Habakkuk had hoped.
God tells the pestering prophet that the Babylonians are coming, and He’s not going to stop it. God says He’s going to let things take their course.
Too often we say we want to hear from God, but do we really? Sometimes when we think God hasn’t answered, it may just be that God hasn’t answered the way we wanted.
My prayer for you today is that like Habakkuk, you’ll be brave enough to want to hear from God.
God’s response may not be exactly what you want to hear, but it’s always exactly what you need. His will and His Word are life and light to our situations.
So keep praying, asking God to speak.
Then, just as Habakkuk discovered, you’ll learn to watch for what God will do, listen to what He has to say, and obey Him unto telling others of what He has done and is still going to do.
Habakkuk’s name, incidentally, means “embrace,” and it’s a fitting name as he was called to embrace that which he was called to endure. I believe that’s the case for many of us as well.
Waiting is the workshop where we learn to trust in God and lean on Him.
So embrace the waiting because it’s there that you will encounter God! And you’ll learn to echo the words of Habakkuk 3:17–18, which say…
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
I’d love to share more lessons from my Old Testament friends about how you can find God in life’s difficult moments by sending you my 3-message series, Finding God.
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Take your first step into God’s waiting workshop