The prophet’s question, “How long, O Lord,” echoes Psalm 13. It echoes the question we might also be asking of God. We might be asking it when things are going great, wondering how long it will be until the other shoe drops or until some catastrophe comes along and ruins our happiness. We might be asking it when things are not so great, wondering how long we will be sick or in pain or feel isolated or angry or anxious. We (or others) may try to placate ourselves with platitudes like, “It’s all in God’s timing.” While that may be true, it’s hard to live with uncertainty. The example of Habakkuk gives us permission to ask the question and speaking through the prophet, God answers. “If [the answer] seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”
What is something you are waiting for in your own life or in the life of a loved one? What is something in the church, the community, or the world about which you are longing for answers? To what degree does God’s promise that the answer will come give you the patience to wait for it?
Offer these situations to God, daring to ask, “How long?” Take a breath and commit yourself to waiting patiently and hopefully.