We ask a lot of God. There are times that we are so lost in what we want, when we want, and how we want it that we lose sight of God’s Greater Story. And I am not just talking about outright rebellion. Sometimes we cloak our own desires and demands carefully in the veils of faith and passion. We see life the way we see life and anything outside of that is just plain wrong.
Take Habakkuk for instance. He was sick and tired of Judah getting away with breaking the covenant time and time and time again. He decided to force God’s hand. He wanted answers. He wanted action. Do something! Sounds good and all. But he wanted it done now. And he wanted it done in a way that made…sense.
The prophet writes, “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted” (Habakkuk 1:2-4, ESV).
Wait a minute. God had already answered his prayer? Before the prophet even asked for it? But he just could not see it yet. An Empire was on the move. But still quite a distance away. And not quite ready for the siege.
And could God really be right in using Babylon? Aren’t they worse than Judah? How is that justice?
Here are the struggles. God is often doing something that we cannot yet see. God is often doing something we might not always agree with.
Habakkuk was learning a valuable lesson. It is really easy to honor those we agree with. It is really easy to be obedient to a plan that we helped devise. But do we trust God enough to do what he will – even when it does not line up with our own timing and expectations? And what is a prophet anyways? Isn’t Habakkuk supposed to be a mouthpiece? A scribe? A messenger? There are definite times to make requests. And ask questions. Even share our own concerns and complaints. But when it is all said and done – share the message and trust that your message is just a part of the Message.