By Brooke Holt
“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:1-3
The conversation between the prophet Habakkuk and the Lord throughout this book is fascinating! Habakkuk brings his complaints before the Lord in prayer and then takes his stand on the tower to await the Lord’s response. If you recall from Habakkuk 1, the prophet questioned the Lord, “how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear” (Habakkuk 1:2). The Lord provided a clear answer to Habakkuk—he was listening!
Not only was the Lord listening, but he had a plan. The Lord then instructed Habakkuk to write down the vision he would give Habakkuk so that all may read it. In fact, there is even the command to write the vision on tablets that a runner may read. Does that mean one is supposed to run throughout town reading aloud the vision, or Habakkuk is to write it in a way one running by can read it? We don’t know the details, but we know the Lord wanted to make this vision known.
Beyond writing and sharing the vision were the Lord’s instructions on what to do while they waited for the Lord to fulfill that vision. WAIT—the four-letter word that seems to put everyone on edge! No one likes to wait. Why is that? Maybe it is because we feel out of control, like we are wasting time, or someone is incompetent? The Lord assures Habakkuk he will act, but he will fulfill the vision in “its appointed time” (verse 3). The Lord was trustworthy and true. The Lord was also working according to his time, the right time, and not Habakkuk’s time or the desired time of those around him.
How were they to wait? In faith—that challenging space in which you know God’s promises and character, and yet you also see the world’s pain, corruption, and injustice. How do those things fit together? Only in faith. As we read in the book of Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Are you waiting well these days? Do you have your hopes set on the Lord, on his promises, the great salvation bestowed upon you through Jesus Christ? Do you trust his perfect timing, will, and sovereignty? Waiting well requires faith, obedience, and a willingness to surrender. Knowing God hears your cries, has a plan, and will work out that plan is the key to waiting well.
The all-powerful, sovereign King of the universe sees, hears, knows, and loves you. He is with you in the waiting.
What are you waiting for today? What does the Lord want you to know in your time this season? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Christmas is the festival of rejoicing at Christ’s first coming—the beautiful, unlikely start of our salvation! As the season ends each year, we pack up the decorations. Advent, on the other hand, is a bigger celebration—one we can’t box up and store in the attic. It celebrates the grace of Christ’s first coming, and then it reaches with restless anticipation for the fuller grace of his second appearing and the completion of our salvation! For 28 days, celebrate Advent. In Prepare the Way, join with St. Paul, King David the Psalmist, Zechariah, Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, along with the crowds as they rejoiced in the good news of Christmas, and then look beyond it for the holiday that never ends!
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