October 09, 2010

How Long, O Lord!

Habakkuk 1:2-4; 3:16-18

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with … patience.
Colossians 3:12


Have you ever lost patience with God? The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk did. Habakkuk lived during a time of violence, war, and death. God’s people were suffering … and it seemed that God wasn’t doing anything about it.

Habakkuk couldn’t understand it. He knew that God was powerful and that God loved his people. They desperately needed God’s help, but it wasn’t coming. Habakkuk finally couldn’t take it anymore. “How long, Lord,” he cried. “How long … must I call for help, but you do not listen?”

God promised to rid this world of its violence, but the world is violent still.

God promised to put an end to death, but we still get sick and our loved ones die.

Jesus said, “I am coming soon!” But that was 2,000 years ago.

How long are we to wait for those promises to come true?

We pray for our sons, our daughters, every day, but nothing seems to change.

We pray for an end to poverty and disease, to famines and wars … but these horrors continue to plague us.

How long are we to wait for God’s promises to come true? Maybe a long time. God is patient with us; can we be patient with him? We, along with Habakkuk, need to say, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Dear Lord, come today with your kingdom of justice and peace and life. But if not today, give us patience, as we wait for that glorious day. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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