ODJ: How Long, God?

March 18, 2016 

READ: Habakkuk 1:1-4 

How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save (v.2).

Not long ago I was certain that God was moving my husband and me in a specific direction. Two different sources, without consulting one another, encouraged us to pursue the same opportunity. So we did. Doors flew open as we kept moving forward. We were encouraged and excited, for what we never thought would happen was coming together right before our very eyes. As we bathed the whole process in prayer, God seemed to be honoring our requests. Until the eleventh hour, that is. That’s when the final door was slammed shut in our faces. We were shocked, and felt cheated and tricked by God. There was absolutely no way to make our dream a reality.

Why would you do this to us, God? Why lead us on? We felt like the prophet Habakkuk who complained to the Lord, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen!” (1:2). We were truly angry and deeply disappointed, though deep down we still believed that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).

Like Habakkuk’s two “complaints” found in chapters 1 and 2, it was good for us to be honest with God—bringing our questions and complaints to Him. God knew them, even though we were sometimes scared to articulate the words. Maybe we feared punishment or rejection—failing to remember that His perfect love expels fear (1 John 4:18).

As for Habakkuk, even though he was still full of questions and sadness, he stated, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!” (Habakkuk 3:18). Acknowledging that God was still in control, he added, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength!” (v.19). Yes, He’s still good, even when circumstances are not.

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: Ruth 4:1-22

Read Matthew 26:36-39 and see how Jesus honestly expressed His feelings to His Father. 
Do you sometimes struggle with telling God how you really feel? Why or why not?