Waiting on God

Habakkuk 1:1-2 
 
The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw. Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. 
 
Habakkuk had been praying, apparently for some time. Despite his prayers, he sees violence against the righteous and God apparently does nothing. Habbakkuk sees sin and iniquity everywhere. He sees mischief and trouble. Even God’s law is ignored, the thing that is supposed to keep everything in order and pleasing to God, and sin is rampant. 
 

Finally, Habakkuk cries out to God.  “How long, O Lord, must I call for help?” Have you ever felt like Habakkuk? Have you ever had to “wait” on God? I’m sure you have had to “wait” before. Perhaps you have had to “wait” on food at a restaurant. I’m sure you’ve had to “wait” on traffic. I’m sure you’ve had to “wait” on a package that was backordered, or lost in shipping. But have you ever had to “wait” on God. I think most of us have. Perhaps you’re waiting on a prayer to be answered. You’ve been diligent in praying but the answer hasn’t come. We’ve all heard the truth about God and answers to prayer. Sometimes God says yes Sometimes God says no Sometimes God says wait But you have been praying and waiting and the answer has still not come.

What do you do? How do you handle waiting?  Waiting isn’t very popular. There are thousands of web pages telling you how to speed up your computer so you don’t have to wait an extra 5 seconds for it to load. Every time you buy something online, you are asked if you want to pay to expedite the shipping so you don’t have to wait for package to arrive. The DMV tells you to make an appointment so you won’t have to wait ( Ha Ha ). You can buy an express pass at the amusement park so you won’t have to wait in line. We don’t like to wait. But waiting can be important.  All of us probably have a story where we were caught behind a slow driver and then come upon accident that just happened a few moments before. You realize that God’s timing perhaps prevented you from being in that accident. You may have been very frustrated just moments earlier, but then you realize the difference between your timing and God’s timing.
 
There are many lessons that can be learned from waiting, but here is one thought that I want to pass onto you. Perhaps this is the most important thing to remember about waiting on God.
 
You must be ready for something different than you expect. 
 
What do I mean by that? Sometimes when we pray, we not only tell God our needs, but we tell Him how we think He should meet our need. We expect Him to use our plan. We say –  “God, I need a new car because I need to get to work every day”. And when we don’t get the car, we think God has failed us. But God may be saying – “You don’t need a car. I had a new bus stop put in right around the corner. A car is too much expense for you now”. 
 
God does answer Habakkuk’s cry.  Not TO Habakkuk, but THROUGH Habakkuk to the unrighteous. We don’t know what Habakkuk expected God to do or was praying for Him to do, but God’s plan is unbelievable.
 
Habakkus 1:5-6  “Look among the nations and watch— Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.

God’s answer is that he WILL destroy the iniquity among his people. He will bring Babylon to conquer them. What Judah will get is what the people of Judah have wanted. They have wanted violence, they will get violence. They have wanted unrighteousness, they will have unrighteousness. And the Babylonians, a brutal pagan empire, will be the tool God uses. He will remove the iniquity by destroying the nation and sending the people into captivity. WOW!!

I’m sure that’s not what Habakkuk wanted or expected. But God’s ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We need to humble ourselves and allow God to use His plan to meet our needs.