Lament “How long, Lord?”
The book of Habakkuk is often described as a “call and response” story, referring to the prophet Habakkuk’s series of prayers to God and God’s responses. Habakkuk lamented on his violent and disappointing surroundings in the city of Judah. He grew weary and demanded justice, pleading with God for answers. Habakkuk questioned God’s timing and how He had allowed the city of Judah to be overrun by sin.
It’s a story of desperation, confusion and brokenness.
Unfortunately, many of us may be able to relate to Habakkuk’s laments as we look around at our own surroundings. Our world is full of pain, hardships and disorder. You may even feel that within yourself. Maybe it’s your hips, knees, or back. Whatever it is, it can be frustrating to feel betrayed by the decline and pain of your health and body.
God isn’t surprised by your thoughts and feelings towards your circumstances. He isn’t disappointed when we come to him with anger or sadness. He can handle our deepest pain, and invites it, saying “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28).
Habakkuk begins with an earnest cry to the Lord:
How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save? (1:2)
This isn’t a declaration of faith, it’s an outcry of frustration! There’s a reason why God’s Word includes songs, poems, prophecies, and stories of lament. His desire is for us to approach Him with our affliction, whether it’s pounding on his chest or laying it at his feet.
Today, take time to lament before the Lord.