“Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come, it will not delay… the righteous person will live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:4
Habakkuk and I share a similar rhythm of berating God with our questions and doubts, then receiving a divine response full of grace and long-suffering patience. Talk about humbling! I have been in a season of pleading with God to move in my ministry much like Habakkuk was pleading with God to move on behalf of his people. I want him to move now, right this minute, in ways that I can see and feel. I want the results and success today and am frustrated by his perceived inefficiency. I want to see him reconcile injustice and solve problems created by generations of conflict by Friday. I want a booming ministry that is respected and thriving by July, and am confused why it is taking so long for the Lord to “get on it.”
Have you found yourself in a similar season?
We look around us and do not see the Lord’s hand, but a bleak future and painful present. It is unclear where the Lord is leading and uncertain what to do in the day to day. Confusion comes in waves as we survey the grey fog that seems to have descended into the landscape of our lives. The questions pile up, the doubts roll in, and the anxiety takes over. We either become too paralyzed to proceed, or we maneuver our way to the pilot seat of our lives, taking over where we feel God is absent.
Slow down, take a deep breath, for the Lord is on the throne.
The Lord is full of long-suffering patience for his people — for you and for me. He is patient with us in our questions and angst. He is not offended by our angry demands, honest doubts or self- centered plans. He answers Habakkuk and me with the same everlasting patience and compassion. He knows our eyes are not on eternity but what we can see right in front of us.
His pace is perfect. He leads with everlasting purpose in the grind of the day to day. God’s story is bigger than our story. God is moving in the present with the vision of eternity. He is reconciling all things to himself in his perfect timing. You and I are invited in to what God is doing if we will engage with what he is working on today. He is with us in the small tasks, the small moments, the small failures, the small victories. The small of today is part of a much bigger story, one spanning generations.
What is the next best thing you can do today with the information you currently have? It may be small, it may feel like moving in the dark, but by taking just one small step forward you are telling God, “I trust you when I cannot see.” You can have confidence that God has equipped you to make a decision in this moment. You can trust that the Lord is sovereign and will protect you if it goes poorly- a fear that often binds me. Moving forward does not mean you always have the right answer or direction but it does mean you start taking steps. We can move forward despite the unknown because we serve the One who does know. The Lord will move. He will come with the swiftness of the wind, the strength of heaven, and the splendor of fire. He will come.
Being an idealist, I struggle seeing the concrete steps I can take to solve a complex issue crowding my head space. I get lost in the ideal solution and subsequent confusion and need help breaking down the problem into actionable steps. I am learning to chip away at the mountain in front of me through the daily discipline of accomplishing the simple, small tasks of the present day. I get up, go for a run, then go line by line down my prioritized task list repeating with every step “There is no need to panic when God is in control.” This way when the anxiety rushes in and threatens to overtake my day, I am not consumed because the Lord is with me in executing the next step.
There were once two farmers who desperately needed rain. Both of them pleaded with the Lord for the rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive the rain. Which one do you think had faith? The one who got up and trusted that Lord would provide. Go out today and prepare your fields: make a list of three steps you can take today, then rest in the confidence that the Lord will bring the rain. Let us be a people who have the faith to move forward!
Sacred Story is honored to have Emma Abernathy as a guest contributor. Her passion to make an impact in this generation through the timeless truth of The Gospel led her to serve on staff with Young Life, a high school outreach ministry. Emma is a graduate from the University of Texas and will begin studying this fall at Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her husband Nathan live in Houston, TX and enjoy backpacking (not in Houston) with high school students, reading, and watching political dramas.