Saturday Short – Getting From “O Lord, How Long?” …to “Yet, I Will Rejoice”

Photo Credit: Slideshare; Sammie G. Smith

It’s been a week.

One of those where you’re praying hard, and yet, at every turn, you’re not sure God is on the same page…or you, with Him.

On happy, normalish, carefreeish weeks, we skip along, through time in the Word, time in prayer, time with friends and family. Even time at work and play. God’s got this, right?

Then there are weeks like this…no end in sight on some struggles. It is easy to wonder if we have lost favor with our heavenly Father. It’s way too easy to cry out to God, like the prophet Habakkuk did:

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?Habakkuk 1:2a

I am so grateful to God that even His “little faith” children are beloved. He is a good, good Father. That isn’t just some praise song embedded in my brain. That is what I’ve come to know through decades of following Him…ever how imperfectly.

The Holy Scripture also reveals His character and the journey of His children over and over. We can know and anticipate that there will be weeks like this…even years like this for some…through His Word.

What else we can know is that God is present in all of this. We also know that, as frail humanity, we cannot possibly know or see or explain the thinking or activity of God. His ways are not our ways.

Trust comes to play in weeks like mine. Truthfully, it comes with wrestling before the Lord in prayer and staying in His Word and the company of His people.

In the brief narrative of Habakkuk, as he struggled in prayer with God, he went from complaining to worshipping.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;
    he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19

This has been a hard week. Most of the situations continue unresolved. God continues quiet to my dull ears. Still…He speaks. In ways that I can hear.

Habakkuk was the topic of reading in my read-through-the-Bible calendar for yesterday. I read through – from the first verse of his cry almost against God to the last verses of his restored peace and joy with God. I read through…and God did the same to my own heart.

Are my circumstances changed today? No. My heart is changed. Even last night, I was recounting, to my mom-in-law, one joyful finding. It was an ultrasound followup on a potential problem for our in utero granddaughter who turns out to be growing and wonderfully healthy after all. And my Godly mom-in-law’s response? “Praise God, another answer to prayer.”

Another answer to prayer…

This morning I am rejoicing in the Lord. Is everything made right? Not yet. Not that I can see…but I know it will be.Photo Credit: Ben Steed, Precept Austin

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3 thoughts on “Saturday Short – Getting From “O Lord, How Long?” …to “Yet, I Will Rejoice””

  1. Very helpful blog–I had just put down Kay Arthur’s “Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen” when I saw your blog 🙂 Praying about whether to study it next in our women’s study or not. It encouraged me to seek the help it gave you. It certainly is easy to see “bad things” around us. But I also believe that the Lord holds up His hand and says, “This far and no further” as He says to the ocean in the book of Job. Like Harvey–with the huge population we have in this area, the devastation could have been much worse and we saw the Lord working in a multitude of ways. Like, without publicizing it, huge numbers of people and tens of thousands of dollars came from all over the US to help us pull down sheet rock and put in sheet rock for about 200 families, most of whom we don’t know. Every penny of it went to help flood victims. Now we’ve had Santa Fe, about 15 min. away from our church. Many more lives would have been lost if the explosive devices (whether due to poor workmanship or whatever) had been ignited. Things are bad but our Lord reigns!

    1. This is Marge again. I think that in response to all the evil the Lord would call us to pray for those suffering in these situations, speak His Word, witness and look for His coming.

      1. I appreciate you so much! Thanks for that word of witness, Marge. You are such an encourager and faithful Truth-speaker.

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