Today in worship our minister, Pat Bills, spoke on Habakkuk. It's an old testament book, one that some people may not have heard of. And even those of us who have heard of it, don't really choose Habakkuk when we want to read or study scripture. But after today, I have realized that Habakkuk is a place to camp out; a place to find hope; a place to be reminded of God's promises.
Habakkuk had lots of questions for God. And sometimes, don't we all have lots of questions for God? I know I do! Habakkuk asks of God, "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?" Habakkuk questions God and reminds me that when I have questions for God, or I don't understand why God is silent, it's ok to question Him. It's nice to be reminded that God can take whatever questions I have for Him. That doesn't mean that we will get answers right away, but someday they will come. God tells Habakkuk concerning his questions... "Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." The Message says... "If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time." There are days when I really need to be reminded of that statement. God's timing, is not my timing.
Pat mentioned today in his sermon how people like to use the phrase, "when one door closes another one opens". He also mentioned that a preaching mentor added to that statement by saying, "yes, but what we don't know is, how long the hallway is in between doors"! Truer words were never spoken. We live in a society of quick fixes, quick answers, quick service and waiting can be extremely hard at times. Sometimes your hallway may be short; sometimes it may be so long you think it's never going to end; sometimes it may take you to a door you never thought you would have to go through and sometimes you may just collapse in the hallway because the next door just doesn't seem like it's ever going to be there. But God reminds us in Habakkuk that no matter how long the hallway may be, we are never alone. It's like I've said many times before, it's what we "choose to do" in the hallway that defines who we are and whose we are. We make a choice every day of what our response will be to whatever hallways we find ourselves in. And even when the hallway seems to have no other door in sight, we choose to continue to trust and we choose to continue to wait. Because God will not delay; and because He is God and we are not. As Pat said today, "Faithfulness is not something that comes from us - faithfulness is what comes from God while we are waiting in the hallway." I choose to allow God to fill me with His faithfulness while I wait in the hallway!
We all have hallways in our lives. I'm going to choose to let God lead me through my hallways no matter how long they may turn out to be! I will wait for God's open door and until then choose to continuing walking the hallways because I know He is there with me; even if I can't see or feel Him. I know He will give me glimpses of Himself, and He will shed light through the hallway when it's at its darkest point. And I will continue to choose to walk the hallway because one day, the open door at the other end of the hallway will show up... right on time.
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights."