As I read through the first chapter of Habakkuk, I can feel myself in his words – the begging, the pleading, the doubt. I’m there praying out to our Lord while questioning whether He hears me. Does God hear my desperate pleas for the hearts of my children? What about the frantic cries for the leaky roof?
The Lord’s response to Habakkuk screamed out at me, answering me with two simple words: “be open.” How can He answer my cries if I’m not open to His response? How can He answer me if I’m not willing to open my eyes and heart to what’s around me?
Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
Habakkuk 1:5 ESV
Habakkuk was a prophet around 640-604 B.C. His name is derived from a Hebrew root meaning to embrace. Jerome [5th Centruy A.D.] stated that the prophet was called “The Embracer,” either because of his love for God or because he wrestled with God.1
I often feel my relationship with God is like those awkward hugs from distant family members you don’t really know. I want Him to embrace and love me, yet I can’t help but to cringe against an uncomfortable unfamiliarity with what He is whispering into my heart.
If the Lord were to tell me right now the reason behind everything that is going on in my life – would I believe Him? I know that if He were to say, “You are going through these trials because I have amazing things planned for your future,” I know I would respond to that with “Why me? What makes me so special that You would do work within me?” And yet, if He were to tell me the struggles simply were, would I be frustrated with Him for allowing them to continue?
Often, I find myself doubting and wrestling with God, yet in the same breath, I yearn for His everlasting and enduring love. Unless I am open to His design, I will forever be caught in the struggle, pushing back against His hand. A life of faith is hindered, almost completely, when we aren’t open to what He has for us.
Here in the brokenness, I cry to Him for His tight embrace, asking Him to open my heart. Help me see His love and feel His Presence. Help me to be open.
“Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance.”
Ephesians 1:18 The Voice
“Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
I am a sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
My soul is consumed with longing
for your rules at all times.
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
who wander from your commandments.”
Psalm 119:17-21 ESV
Count the Wonders
It can be difficult to find the wonder – the joy – when there is so much negativity surrounding us. Each day, we are overwhelmed with everything that is wrong in the world, and the simple blessings are lost to the darkness.
This week, I challenge you to count the wonders – they may be small or vast but they are there. They are there in the blades of grass, in the magnificent snowflakes, in the twinkle of our children’s eyes. They are there in the beating of our heart and the weeping of our soul. Discover them. Relish in them. Read the list every time doubt creeps into your mind – when the “Why me?” begins to surface.
Be open to the trials God places on our path – the walls we scale make us stronger. It’s at the top that we can look back to see the Why. Tweet This
“If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit. A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace. You see, a mind focused on the flesh is declaring war against God; it defies the authority of God’s law and is incapable of following His path. So it is clear that God takes no pleasure in those who live oriented to the flesh.”
Romans 8:5-8 The Voice
Bible Study: Week One
Read Habakkuk Chapter 1
Memorize Habakkuk 1:5
Song of the Week: Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord
Answer & Discuss Below
- What wonders surround me?
- How is God working in my life right now?
- How are Habakkuk’s cries and doubt similar/different than my own?
1The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1979), 871