31 May 2006

I'm continuing to pray and listen, last night and today. And God is continuing to speak to me through the words of His Old Testament prophet Habakkuk.


1 [OH, I know, I have been rash to talk out plainly this way to God!] I will [in my thinking] stand upon my post of observation and station myself on the tower or fortress, and will watch to see what He will say within me and what answer I will make [as His mouthpiece] to the perplexities of my complaint against Him.
2 And the Lord answered me and said, "Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.
3 "For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behind hand on its appointed day.
4 "Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him, but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness."


God, thank You for being the God who not only listens to the prayers of His children, and is attentive to their lives … but who actually answers them! You are not distant or ticked off, even when You seem to be. You are not silent or disengaged, even when You appear to be. You are not an "impostor", but there is a sense of mystical illusion to trusting You. I cannot see You, but I am called to trust You.

It seems unfair at the least, and downright impossible at the best. And yet this is the recipe of faith. At different times in my life the ingredients in this recipe have left me frustrated. But during this current chapter it is simple stirring up in me a nearly insatiable desire to see You more clearly, to love You more dearly, to follow You more nearly, day by day. For if marble is the essence of Michelangelo's David, then trust is the essence of love.

Thank You for being the God who answers. Sometimes slowly. Sometimes quickly. Sometimes elaborately. Sometimes simply. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes in whispered syllables. Sometimes in ways hoped for. Sometimes in ways filled with surprise. But You answer. You always answer.

"Wait my child. You must wait a bit more." "Take up your mat and walk! Yes, right now. Come on, get with the program!" "Go up the mountain and sacrifice your 'beloved' (whatever dream, person, desire or hope your 'beloved' might be)". And the gift of Your answer is precious in that much of the time it is not just about me having a greater understanding of Who You are and what You are up to, but it also bring greater clarity about how You want to use me in this world. And in understanding and embracing these answers from You, my destiny is uncovered and I am humbly equipped to live into it.

Thank You that while Your vision for me is straightforward, but it isn't just busy-work. There is a sharpness, a strength, a depth, and a purpose in a vision marked by God-pointed-conciseness. This is the kind of vision You are pouring into my heart. One free from frills, intentionally lacking unneeded ornamentation. But as clear and sharp as a tack.

When a little boy waits for his daddy to come home after work, he dreams of being scooped up in His father's arms, and smothered in love and hugs. Sometimes the door seems to never open. Sometimes God's lingering is mistaken for disinterest. But not today LORD. Today You have walked through the door in ways obvious and undeniable.

I feel Your arms around me LORD. I smell the scent of heaven on Your collar. And like a new mother's love for the child in her arms eclipses the pain of having given birth, my focus in this moment is on the great joy I know at being held tightly by You, and not on the nearly unexplainable route You have taken me on in order to give birth to this moment. Blessed be the arms and the answers of the LORD. Godspeed.



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