We have entered into a new year. For some, there are high expectations and hope for what is coming in 2016. For others, there is a lingering issue from 2015 still hanging like a thread that keeps unraveling a beautifully constructed tapestry. If only the thread could be cut and the tapestry remain intact.
Perhaps it is marriage that is teetering on divorce. Or a health issue of a loved one. It could be a child that has wondered and lost his way. There are daily news reports of catastrophes around the world. There is so much darkness. You have prayed and yet the tapestry still is unraveling and you question…
“Lord, why? Why don’t you fix this?!”
This past summer, I was discussing an ongoing issue I was having with a dear friend. She encouraged me to change my question, to stop asking “Why?” and ask “What?”.
Lord, What are You doing in this?
It is ok to ask the Lord questions. It is ok to question.
Tucked away in the Old Testament, we find the book Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet who saw his world around him crumbling. Not only did he pray, he asked the Lord questions. And He was “real” with the Lord. When he was afraid, he told God. When he was mad, he told God. What he didn’t understand, he told the Lord and questioned Him.
I want you to know it is ok to be afraid. It is ok to be mad. It is ok to question and not understand. God already knows. Tell him. He won’t get mad. He wants you to tell Him these things and talk to Him. You don't have to pray a certain way to be heard.
And He wants to answer you.
“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help and You will not hear? Or cry out to You of violence and You will not save? Why do You show me iniquity and wrong, and Yourself look upon or cause me to see perverseness and trouble? For destruction and violence are before me; and there is strife, and contention arises.” Hab 2:2-3
Perhaps you have wondered the same as Habakkuk. O Lord, how long shall I cry for help and You will not hear? Or cry out to You and You will not save?
The Lord answered his question. He answered with a "what" answer.
“Look around [you, Habakkuk, replied the Lord] among the nations and see! And be astonished! Astounded! For I am putting into effect a work in your days [such] that you would not believe it if it were told you. “ Hab 2:5
What then Lord revealed about the impending judgement of Israel is difficult to hear but Habakkuk understood that God’s ways are always good and just even in the middle of calamity.
Then the Lord encouraged Habakkuk:
“And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day. “ Hab 2:2-3
From Habakkuk, we can learn that when all hope seems lost, that God has a bigger plan than we can see and it is for good. There is encouragement. There is a Light. God longs for his people’s hearts to be turned towards Him. He knows lasting joy and peace only comes from being in right relationship with Him.
There are plans in progress we cannot understand. God sees the big picture. What I want to be clear about is that the Israelites had brought this judgement on themselves after MUCH mercy and grace from God. I don’t believe the Lord brings disaster into our lives to “teach us something”. We do have a very real enemy who is out to kill, steal and destroy. And the Lord and he are NOT partners.
Because of these variables, it is even more so important to ask the Lord “what” is going on here when we are faced with things we don’t understand. If it is the enemy, then our mission will be to engage in spiritual battle through prayer. But we need to ask.
The good news here is that after we ask, He will answer.
Although you may have been walking through this thing for a while, I believe the Lord will astound you as you see that He is working out a plan you would not believe if it were told to you!
Write your vision. What vision [outcome] has the Lord given you in your heart? Write out the promise and daily read it, pray it. And go on in faith knowing that it will come at God’s perfect time. It will not deceive or disappoint. God doesn’t lie. God says it will “SURELY” come at the appointed time and it will not be late!
God is already at work and I believe you will be astounded.