Daily Update #308
I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
Wherever, I like to walk towards the sun, or with a breeze in my face. Actually I don’t much mind a stronger wind and even rain in your face can be stimulating. Whatever the weather, I prefer to be going into it. Even though many walks are circular, I prefer to follow the weather. I like to know what is ahead.
So much of the Christian life depends on which way we are facing. Progress, how fast we are moving, is secondary to the focus of our lives. In fact we may sometimes ‘move’ more by being still. In chapter 1:2-4 Habbakukk had complained, How long, O Lord, must I call for help? Having poured out his heart, he now asks Is God really there? Does he even know what is happening? Then in verses 12-17, he complains again, if you are so pure, how are the Babylonians allowed to do their worst? Lots of people ask questions like this. Why do the good suffer while the wicked prosper?
This presents three simple habits that we can all grow in.
‘I will stand at my watch… I will look to see what he will say….’
Habakkuk takes a step back to focus. It is tempting to take our eyes off God, becoming distracted by the immediate and forgetting the immanent. That is when we make our own plans, based on dissatisfaction, complaint or unbelief, fed by the apparent success of those who do their own thing, following whatever catches their eye. Taking time out to pray is central, especially when under pressure from events around us.
Habakkuk is bold enough to ask and perhaps even braver to wait for the answer. Both are important. God is so holy we dare not approach, let alone question him; yet he is so gracious, that we may.
There will always be things we can bring to God. We take time out in prayer, to pray, not just to speak, but to listen. Habakkuk will wait until he hears.
Habakkuk is also brave enough to accept the response. I will look out to see what he will say to me. Accepting the response of God is often no easy thing. Hearing something we would rather not, can lead us to painful and difficult experiences. But expectancy is matched with humility. If it is from God then Habakkuk will know it is part of God’s sovereign plan for his people. James gave some guidance on this:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Habakkuk, like James, understands that we must face life head on, looking towards God who knows what lies ahead.
Blessed are you, creator of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As your dawn renews the face of the earth
bringing light and life to all creation,
may we rejoice in this day you have made;
as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.