Wherever you may be on your journey to healing, you may be feeling tired, worn out, or defeated. Maybe you feel like God is silent as you keep crying out for help and for healing. Check out this excerpt from the Bible Plan Not Built to Last to find out why I’m embracing the quiet and patiently waiting to hear God’s voice.
The book of Habakkuk is often described as a “call and answer” story, referring to the prophet Habakkuk’s series of prayers to God and God’s responses. Habakkuk lamented his violent and disappointing surroundings in the city of Judah. He grew weary and demanded justice, pleading with God for answers. Habakkuk questioned God’s timing and how He had allowed the city of Judah to be overrun by sin.
It’s a story of desperation, confusion, and brokenness.
Unfortunately, many of us may be able to relate to Habakkuk’s laments as we look around at our own surroundings. Our world is full of pain, hardships, and disorder. You may even feel that within yourself. Maybe it’s your hips, or knees, or back. Whatever it is, it can be frustrating to feel betrayed by bodily pain and the decline of your health.
God isn’t surprised by our thoughts and feelings toward our circumstances. He isn’t disappointed when we come to him with anger or sadness. He can handle our deepest pain and invites it, saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28 NIV).
Habakkuk begins with an earnest cry to the Lord:
How long, Lᴏʀᴅ, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Habakkuk 1:2 NIV
This isn’t a declaration of faith; it’s an outcry of frustration! There’s a reason why God’s Word includes songs, poems, prophecies, and stories of lament. His desire is for us to approach Him with our affliction, whether it’s pounding on His chest or laying it at His feet.
It’s important that we learn from Habakkuk and the example he set for us. He anticipated an answer from God and was willing to wait for it. Often when we question God, we don’t expect Him to answer, but Habakkuk does. Other times we not only demand God to answer but also that He answer according to our schedule.
We don’t know the exact timeline, but there must have been some painful waiting in between Habakkuk’s plea and God’s response. Habakkuk potentially grew restless and unsure. And then cue the swirling thoughts of God’s possible answers. How will God respond? Will He even respond? And will it be the answer I am hoping for?
Your body is tired and broken. Maybe you’ve grown weary continually praying for healing and restoration. You may begin to question whether God even hears you.
Habakkuk teaches us that we should cherish this waiting time. How often do we spend our prayer time listing our needs off to God and quickly ending with an amen? When was the last time you truly dedicated time to sitting, waiting, and listening for God’s response? To embrace the quiet and remain faithful in the quiet times seems punishing but can be so rewarding.
Habakkuk’s words are powerful during his wait:
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Habakkuk 2:1 NIV
His dedication is inspiring. Habakkuk stood firm in his faith in God’s good and perfect nature.
Maybe you’re waiting on a diagnosis. Maybe you’re preparing for surgery. Maybe you’re waiting on the results of your surgery. Whatever waiting period you’re in, remember to take joy in the victory that God already offers. Nothing is overlooked by God—even if we may not be able to see the bigger picture just yet.