I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the lookout tower. I will watch to see what he will say to me and what I should reply about my complaint.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Sometimes we face a trial in our life that can just about knock us down. Whether pain, regret, injustice, or shattered hope; our grieving can keep us up at night and crowd our thoughts during the day. This kind of suffering can reveal some of our hidden expectations for this life or more specifically, our expectations of how God should work in our life. Maybe we expected Jesus to keep us from suffering or at least provide a clear and hopeful tomorrow. Is there a way to find wonder in the waiting when the waiting drags on? How are we to hold our faith in the midst of suffering?
There’s wonder in the waiting.
Habakkuk was horrified to see the Chaldeans wage vicious wars against the nations bordering Israel. He had called out to God, listed the injustices, and begged God to act. But then he takes his place “at the guard post and… on the lookout tower” so he can wait in the stillness to see how God will respond. Habakkuk was familiar enough with God’s character and His ways to know that he could face the ruthless violence of the Chaldeans with a ruthless trust in God.
We also must learn to trust God with an unrelenting faith that is not based on our circumstances. It is in the midst of our suffering that He can teach us the most heart-shifting lessons. It is as He walks with us in our pain that we come to trust Him as our good Shepherd. When we let go of our attempts to control the situation and mitigate the pain, we find there is wonder in the waiting.
The God who does more than we can ask or imagine.
It goes against our natural inclinations when we trust the most precious parts of our life to God. But I urge you to remember what kind of a God we serve. Jesus showed us the true character of God when He came to us. He is full of power, wisdom, grace, mercy, compassion, and healing. May we learn to trust Him enough to open our hands to receive from Him, even when it’s not what we would have asked for. The apostle Paul was well-acquainted with suffering, and he was able to say this in Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
We can give Him glory when we release our anxieties and fears and trust him to order, provide, and work all things for good.
I realized in my own journey of faith that I was starting to hit a wall because I could not release my desire to control the circumstances and situations around me. We all come to that place where we find out just how much we trust God, though what brings us to that place will vary from one person to another. Honest prayer and meeting with a trusted and wise friend can help. Our church has a mentor program that can help if you would like to talk with someone.