Monday, April 30, 2012

Lessons from a Prophet

I read Habakkuk this morning. Partially because I like the sound of "Habakkuk" and partially because it caught my eye as I was flipping through my slightly dusty NIV this morning...

And I rediscovered two lessons that struck a particular chord with me...

Now I remembered reading Habakkuk before and so this morning I thought to myself "Hmm.. This will be good.."  My eyes were bleary and the clock read 6:30am, but I willfully plopped myself into my not-comfy-enough kitchen chair, gratefully munched on Mini Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies, and began to read.

There have been sometimes many times in the past that I have read something or done something in order to better myself. Sort of a wonderful idea. Sort of a self-centered, egotistical type of vain indulgence. This morning was not one of those times though...

Because after a period of drought I feel a gnawing hunger for God again. I want to know Him more. And so this morning, I read Habakkuk in order to know my God better.

And as I read the words of the prophet Habakkuk I was reminded of a terribly wondrous truth...

Our God cares more about the status of our hearts than our personal safety. Because love, real, genuine, God-love, doesn't always feel good. It's not always a mushy-gushy heart-bursting-with-joy kind of feeling.

The first lesson  - Sometimes God's love hurts.

God's love isn't always about making us FEEL loved. Sure, there is that aspect of it, that overwhelming moment of feeling overwhelmingly loved by the creator of the universe. But there are plenty of times where God's love feels more like being drawn and quartered by blood-thirsty Babylonians...

Because God cares more about the status of our hearts than our personal safety. And He will do what it takes to get our attention. To dig up sin-weeds, uprooting all our nicely patted earth. So sometimes God allows the storms of life...

A wise man once said:

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

 And then I found the second lesson - God's timing is perfect.

Even in the midst of hellish circumstances (brought on by our sin, the sins of others, or just a sin-filled world), God is both merciful and just. Merciful enough to cradle our bruised hearts. Just enough to fight our Babylonian battles for us. But all in His perfect timing. Once He's done some heart surgery.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it[c] will certainly come
    and will not delay.
           - Habakkuk 2:3 

These two lessons hit home with me this morning... Especially as I (impatiently) wait on the Lord for His perfect timing in multiple areas of my life...

For those that haven't read Habakkuk - go do so. It's only three chapters, but it's chock-full of amazing. The last chapter gives me goosebumps... And there's so much more than just two lessons to be found.

Read it and tell me what lessons you learn! :)

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