Big Enough to Handle It

by Jul 3, 2020Article

Big Enough to Handle It

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Habakkuk 3:17-18

My daughter studied Habakkuk this week for the online Bible study she co-leads. Last night she shared with me the comfort she’s been drawing from this small but powerful book.

Habakkuk’s opening verses read like many of the Psalms, with him crying out in complaint to God. Yet his words are poignantly relevant to today:

“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.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight. (Hab. 1:1-3)

These words were written centuries ago, but it sounds like he’s describing the current state of our nation. My daughter explained that she was drawn to his words because the prophet was free to complain to God when his heart was hurting. Habakkuk didn’t hold back, pouring out his anguish to God at His seeming indifference.

Lord God, our hearts are broken when we look around and see so much to be discouraged about. Thank you that You are big enough to handle all our feelings, all our doubts, all our questions. And thank you that we can trust You and trust in Your promises, even when we can’t yet see the outcome.

When we are hurt or discouraged, when it seems like we can’t take any more, when we’re sick and tired of all the brokenness in the world, we can bring our complaints to God. He’s big enough to handle it. We can rage at Him freely, knowing He will patiently listen and will never stop loving us.

God answered Habakkuk’s complaint in a surprising way (read the rest of Chapter 1 to see for yourself!) but promises him that justice IS coming. He reassures Habakkuk, “If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” (Hab 2:3b)

Habakkuk ends with the verses written at the top of this page. He shows incredible trust in God, even when he can’t see goodness around him. It’s easy to look around at all the bad news in the world and feel overwhelmed. It may seem like God is sitting on the sidelines, not actively involved. But like Habakkuk, we can remind ourselves of all God has done in the past, and wait and trust in Him, knowing that He is good, just and merciful.

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