Sometimes the heaviness of life can become overwhelming, don't you think?
In a matter of seconds I can think of heavy burdens facing individuals, families, marriages, parents, friendships, states, churches, pastors, communities, our nation...our world! We live in a time where the communication of others' burdens can be in our minds and hearts within minutes. Technology has transformed our lives so that we never have an excuse to be out of touch with the on goings around us unless we choose to "sign off". In which, many times, we feel the need to announce that we are going to purposely be "out of touch".
I love technology (or I couldn't write to you now), but don't you also tend to get bogged down with the heaviness of "being in the know"?
Last week, in my little circle of the world, there were so many things to be burdened with that I became a bit sad and numb. Then anxious. Then angry and back to sad. I hit a wall. I couldn't pray. I couldn't read my bible. The burden literally felt like it was adding to the weight of my body.
One night I laid in bed and out of sheer discipline I opened my bible. It was already close to midnight, but I needed to talk to God. Not just a one way conversation, but a real talk. I needed to hear from Him. For whatever reason I opened my bible (yes I still use a real paper bible) to the tiny book of Habakkuk. I read the first chapter and right away underlined Habakkuk's complaint, "How long, O Lord, must I call for help?" Okay, I thought. I can relate to this. It went on, "Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. The law has become paralyzed. The wicked far outnumber the righteous." Hmmmm. So maybe we are going to focus on the political and civil burdens tonight. That's good. I should be satisfied with that, I thought. But, I wasn't, so I read on.
"For [look around] I am doing something in YOUR OWN DAY, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it." Wow, here's a word from God. He's reminding me he is unfathomable, unexplainable and indescribable! I like that reminder, I thought, but what are you DOING God?
I read on and chapter 2 told me that we must wait patiently and faithfully on the one true God, not falling into temptation of other God's such as pride or wealth, physical beauty or want/greed. Okay, God, I hear you and I want you to help me live righteous and faithful. I am a sinner and I need your help. But, by your grace, this isn't really what's troubling me God. I need to talk to you about the hurts in life God. There was only one more chapter to finish the book and it was getting late, but I read on. I asked, will you speak to my heart God?
Chapter 3 is a prayer that Habakkuk sung as he knew God was going to discipline Judah and the evil there. It begins with praise and awe for the one true God. He asks, "In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by." I whisper, thank you for your faithfulness in all these burdened situations God. Habakkuk goes on to describe God's coming with rays of light flashing from his hands where his power is hidden! Wow...that is super cool! God has hidden power? God marches across the land in anger and power causing terror and distress, destroying all things evil. Whoa....this is what needs to happen right now in this world, I think. As Habakkuk saw this in a dream he says this. "My lips quiver in fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. Yet, I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
Habakkuk has peace, even knowing that hard days are ahead. God, I want the gift of peace please.
"Even though the fig trees have no blossom and there are no grapes on the vines, even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, YET, I WILL rejoice in the Lord! I WILL be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord IS MY STRENGTH! He makes me as surefooted as a deer able to tread upon the heights."
Wow God! Talk about waiting until the very last few verses to pierce my heart! So, even though there was turmoil, evil, famine, disease, false Gods and lost control in government, Habakkuk found joy and strength and peace in the one true God. Our Lord Almighty. The One who is, always has been and always will be! Our redeemer, Savior, strong tower, refuge, protector and friend. No matter how things "appear", GOD IS DOING SOMETHING in our own day! When everything around us is unsteady, we can count on God to be steady inside of us.
Thanks for the talk God.
*Habakkuk Chapters 1-3 NLT