Take a Step

Our LORD, how long must I beg for your help before you listen? How long before you save us from all this violence? …

But you can’t stand sin or wrong. So don’t sit by in silence while they gobble down people who are better than they are.              Habakkuk 1:2, 13 (CEV)

Here is a passage from one of the minor prophets. I find the “minor prophets” phrase to be a bit of an oxymoron and brings a chuckle to my soul. I know that the definition of ‘minor’ is based on the amount of known written literature, but really, is there a prophet of God that could be considered as minor? Arguably one of the greatest of prophets, Elijah, has no book to his credit and very few verses written about him at all. (1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2)

Almost nothing is known about Habakkuk except that he was a prophet. We are not even sure when he lived. The reliable information that we have is what he tells us: he was a prophet of God.

Thanks to Habakkuk, David, and yes, Jesus Himself, I am blessed to be able to come to God and argue, complain, cry, and even vent my anger at what I see in my life, in my world, and at what I perceive God doing or not doing about it! God is my Father, abounding in love and grace and mercy. When I come with frustration to His throne room, I am received and God listens to me. He does not reject me or tell me to “Shut up!” but listens with an understanding ear. He knows the root of my words. He sees them for what they are. Remember when Jesus rebuked Satan, not Peter (Matthew 16:21-23)?

Did Habakkuk get answers to his heart-wrenching questions?

Fig trees may no longer bloom, or vineyards produce grapes;

olive trees may be fruitless, and harvest time a failure;

sheep pens may be empty, and cattle stalls vacant–

but I will still celebrate because the LORD God saves me.

The LORD gives me strength.

He makes my feet as sure as those of a deer,

and he helps me stand on the mountains.        Habakkuk 3:17-19 (CEV)

As my relationship with God grows closer, I find I can hear God’s voice more clearly. I may not find answers that totally satisfy me but I find that, in the midst of God’s silence, His answer of “Wait”, or an answer that I do not want to hear – that I can say, “I trust You, Lord.” I find the Father’s heart that desires to give me good gifts and has good plans for me. Through Jesus, I have the example of what my relationship to the Father can be and should be. Jesus went off to pray, to talk with God, especially when He was tired or discouraged. Even in the Garden just before His death, we are shown that Jesus questioned the Father, asking that another way be given for His mission Luke 22:39-46). Would the Father please change the path that He had asked Jesus to walk? Jesus’ relationship with the Father was one of obedience to be sure. He told the Father that He wanted to be in His will above all other things. But – would God reconsider His plan? The answer was “No”. The answer was also an angel to minister to Jesus and bring Him strength straight from the Father.

Our Father God is waiting right now to hear what is going on in our lives. He is ready to listen. Do we trust Him? Today is a good day to take that step forward just as Habakkuk did.

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