“Lord, how long must I ask for help and You ignore me? I cry out to You about violence, but You do not save us! Why do You make me see wrong things and make me look at trouble? People are destroying things and hurting others in front of me; they are arguing and fighting. So the teachings are weak, and justice never comes. Evil people gain while good people lose; the judges no longer make fair decisions.”
When I went to bed Sunday night all was peaceful. Then, I woke up Monday morning. Hell had been unleashed in Las Vegas Nevada. It was a massacre, and by all accounts it was the deadliest eruption of sniper fire in our country. You probably felt like I did, horrified. My stomach heart and my heart ached for all who had been at the concert. Tears leaked from my eyes as I prayed. Actually my prayer was more of a complaint, “How could this happen God?”
But guess what? I didn’t pray that prayer that you read in that first paragraph. It sounds like me. There have been many times in my life when I have vented just like this to God. But no it wasn’t I who prayed, “People are destroying things and hurting others in front of me;” That prayer above came from someone more sainted than I. The prophet Habakkuk prayed that prayer around 605 BC. I read it in Habakkuk 1:2-4 a few short hours after learning of the shooting spree from Mandalay Bay. I did echo it, “Yeah what he said, Dear God” but I didn’t pen those words.
The heading of these verses reads, “Habakkuk complains.” They could have read, “Kellye complains.” Sometimes my prayers do come out as complaining, or whining, but you know what, the Lord doesn’t turn me out or tune me out. He doesn’t send me to my room without supper. God bends down to listen anytime I take the time to pray. He loves to meet me with, and meets with me wherever I’m at, and even if I am complaining or whining. I know this because He took the time to meet with Habakkuk after he had his gripe session.
The heading of verse 5 says, “The Lord answers.”
“Look at the nations! Watch them and be amazed and shocked. I will do something in your lifetime that you won’t believe even when you are told about it.” Habakkuk 1:5
Even after Habakkuk complained, “Lord, how long must I ask for help and You ignore me?” The Lord took time to answer him. I find that amazing. I find that humbling.
We all ask the tough questions. We, like Habakkuk, have said, “I cry out to You about violence, but You do not save us!” I don’t have the answer to your questions and you do not have the answer to my question, but through Christ, we can turn to our Creator and ask those hard questions. He won’t turn us away. He will bend down, and He will say, “I am the Answer.”
Habakkuk was praying during a time when his country was facing certain captivity from a foreign nation. He lived during fearful times. We live in fearful times. But instead of quaking in fear, Habakkuk turned to God and said quite boldly “I will stand like a guard to watch and place myself at the tower. I will wait to see what He will say to me; I will wait to learn how God will answer my complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1 NCV
Guess what? “The Lord answered me:…” Habakkuk 2:2