Reading: Habakkuk 1: 1-4
Habakkuk begins by voicing what many of us have voiced as well: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen”? Sometimes our prayers have been for a loved one, sometimes for a friend, and sometimes they are for a far away someone or a group of people that we do not know personally but are somehow connected to our heart strings. We see hurt and injustice near and far and we bring it to the Lord. But is seems to persist anyway. Like Habakkuk, we cry out, “How long?”
Sometimes we come to a place where we feel we cannot bear the pain or hurt any longer. Our cries turn to anger and we express our frustration with God’s apparent inactivity. We hear this cry in Habakkuk’s words. In our mind it makes no sense why our living God would ‘allow’ it to continue. In our anger we may even want to turn away, to just forget the situation. But we cannot. Deep down we know that God does not ‘allow’ pain… It is part of the world, just as joy is part of our world. The Spirit reminds us of Jeremiah’s words, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11). We may not be able to understand God’s plans, but we still hold onto the promise. There is comfort in this as we walk through the midst of a time of suffering or pain or injustice.
Even as we cry out, “How long?” we know that God is right there. Our God of love seeks to bring us peace and strength and comfort and reassurance and whatever else we need right in the midst of our trial. “I am with you” says the Lord. In our trials, may we always trust into God and hold tightly to the hope we profess. God is faithful. God is love. May we cling to the Lord our God in the storms.