Hold me while You’re healing me.
Just like you did for Habakkuk and the people of Israel. They were exhausted and worn out from all the waiting and wondering, just like I’ve been for the last twenty years. Some days everything in this life feels like it’s all too much for me and You use my weakest moments to remind me that it’s not my battle, after all.
Recently, I had a day where nothing seemed to be going right. No morning coffee or worship music. On this particular morning, it was imperative for me to be heading out the door. Ever been there? I think we all have if we’re being honest. To put it bluntly, that day ended up being not so great. God later spoke to me by His spirit saying, That day was out of control because I wasn’t the one in the driver’s seat. WHOA. The crucial reality that He gently whispered to me in that still moment sparked something within the deepest depths of my soul.
I wanted to consult the Bible and see if I could find something that related to my current situation. (Spoiler alert: There is ALWAYS something in the Bible that relates to whatever we may be going through-That’s why I never get tired of reading His word). With God, nothing is a coincidence because it’s all part of His plan.
It should’ve been no surprise to me when God called me to write about Habakkuk since I’ve been studying his book for the last three weeks on Sunday mornings. I love this book in the Bible because it’s pretty darn close to the reality of my own life. It’s full of wrestling and waiting on God, trusting His faithfulness and finally resting in the confidence of His promises even when we don’t necessarily know how our stories will end.
As I have been reading the first two chapters of Habakkuk’s story, I get the sense that he is crying out in deep despair to Lord on behalf of the people of Israel. Their current situation was far from good. The people in leadership were evil and destructive.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.
Habakkuk 1:3-4 NLT
I adore these verses not because they’re joyful, but because I’ve heard myself crying out very similar things to my precious Savior over my last twenty years. From the moment I read these brutally honest words, I knew I had to write about them. God’s word had become real to me like never before. I saw myself crying out some of these very same vulnerable and gut wrenching words. God, in His loving kindness, used Habakkuk’s story to serve as a “full circle moment” in the words of Steven Furtick to show me once again how far I’ve come. It was such a soothing moment for my soul. God used my full circle moment to show me that I can only be humbly content with my present circumstances when I let Him change my perspective and in doing so He brought me full circle.
I want to challenge you to think back to a time in your life when you experienced a “full circle moment.” What did God speak to you? I firmly believe that these full circle moments can be the turning point in the life of a Christian if we let them. This can be painful because our human nature isn’t too comfortable with change.
I believe Habakkuk learned the beauty of our full circle moments can’t happen without the sting of sacrifice. This was the perspective I got while reading the first several verses of Habakkuk’s Prayer in chapter three:
2I have heard all about you, Lord.
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
remember your mercy.
3 I see God moving across the deserts from Edom,[a]
the Holy One coming from Mount Paran.[b]
His brilliant splendor fills the heavens,
and the earth is filled with his praise.
4 His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.
Rays of light flash from his hands,
where his awesome power is hidden.
5 Pestilence marches before him;
plague follows close behind.
6 When he stops, the earth shakes.
When he looks, the nations tremble.
He shatters the everlasting mountains
and levels the eternal hills.
He is the Eternal One![c]
7 I see the people of Cushan in distress,
and the nation of Midian trembling in terror.
Habakkuk 3:2-7 NLT
If we truly want to appreciate the beauty of the full circle moments, we must “…trace God’s hand of faithfulness.” As Lysa TerKeurst says. I believe that’s what Habakkuk was doing in this prayer. In addition to crying out to God for help, Hab also recognized he need to constantly remind himself of God’s faithfulness in the past.
Gracious, have I wrestled with this a time or a thousand! Those seasons of my life were some of the hardest YEARS I have ever lived through. Can I share a secret with you, though? I wouldn’t trade them for the world. (I know. You probably weren’t expecting that answer). It’s the truth. Granted, I’m saying it in retrospect, but still. I’m SO grateful for those years of questions, tears and wondering because God knew it would make me even stronger for Him.
I think that as Habakkuk was entering the last phases of writing his struggles, he knew that the battle wasn’t his to fight. It was God’s.
5 The Lord replied,
“Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed![a]
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn’t believe
even if someone told you about it.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,[b]
a cruel and violent people.
They will march across the world
and conquer other lands.
7 They are notorious for their cruelty
and do whatever they like.
Habakkuk 1:5-7 NLT
By the second half of his prayer, we see where he finally sees of the truth that it’s God’s battle, indeed:
I trembled inside when I heard this;
my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,[a]
and I shook in terror.
16 I will wait quietly for the coming day
when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
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,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[b]
able to tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 NLT
So, I believe there are three beautiful crumbs of wisdom we can take away from Habakkuk’s story:
- The people were running on empty, but God filled them by preparing them to watch Him fight the battle. (Hab. 1:5-7)
- The hard times of wrestling Habakkuk went through made him stronger for God in the long run because he reflected on God’s faithfulness in the past. (Habakkuk 3:2-7)
- Our battles are God’s battles. (Habakkuk 3:16-19)
© Andrea Pierce. 2017. All Rights Reserved.