I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a list of questions I want to ask God when I get to meet him.
I think that’s why I love the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk is a man not afraid to ask difficult questions of God.
He sees the injustice in the world. That evil people prosper, and the honest struggle.
He asks God, “How long?” How long until you answer my questions, how long until you do something? How long until the law and justice find their place in the world again?
God answers Habakkuk – the time is coming. The world will be sorted out, but it may seem like a long time to us. We may yet have times of questioning to come.
Sometimes we think we shouldn’t question God – that he is almighty, and knows what he is doing. That’s the very reason why we should ask him! We know that questioning is a good learning tool, so why not ask questions of God, if it is what is really on our heart – because that is what God longs to hear – what is on our heart.
If we don’t get the answer to our prayers that we want to, do we give up? Are we faithful in prayer, bringing situations to God, and waiting for him to deal with them? The life of faith may require continuing belief, long after reason and knowledge have been exhausted. But it is right faith, because God is a faithful God.
Life is full of unanswered questions – for now. One day it will all make sense to us, because we will see the full picture when God reveals it.
The best thing about Habakkuk for me is he learns to live with the questions. Habakkuk’s faith, though tested, is not broken. His faith, his experience of God, is that God will answer. God is watching – his answer – “Wait – for God’s time”.
His book ends with these words:
Fig trees may no longer bloom,
or vineyards produce grapes;
olive trees may be fruitless,
and harvest time a failure;
sheep pens may be empty,
and cattle stalls vacant–
but I will still celebrate
because the LORD God
The LORD gives me strength.
He makes my feet as sure
as those of a deer,
and he helps me stand
on the mountains.
Even though, even though all these things are still happening, we can trust that God is in ultimate control. All may not yet be right with the world, but God continues to hold us and gives us the strength we need. Habakkuk found a way to live with not always having answers, but finding something in that, and still being able to cling on because of his faith in God, when everything else had left him.
We might only be hanging on by our fingertips, but God is hanging on to us.
To quote that old saying,
We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future
God is with us in the mess and the pain.
So let’s pray. Lets wait on God. And let’s share with the world what God says.