One of the twelve Old Testament books that we often refer to as “The Minor Prophets” bears the name Habakkuk.
When I was in college (nearly40 years ago), Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship brought a multi-media production on Habakkuk to campus. The line from the production that I still remember said “Where is the God of Heaven, and Why is He Taking So Long?”
The problem for Habakkuk (in around 600 BC) and for us Christians struggling through injustice in the late 1970’s, was that it seemed like God was taking a little too much time addressing the problems that humans here creating for other humans. Forty years later, it still seems like that.
Why isn’t the world perfect? Why do we still have hatred, racism, violence, greed? Why haven’t we found our way back to Garden of Eden?
The answer that was given to Habakkuk may still be the answer for God’s people today:
I will stand at my watch post, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.
After college, I got the opportunity to continue my studies at seminary. I remember hearing there a description of the time in which we find ourselves. When it comes to the Kingdom of God, we are “in the already, and the not yet.” There are moments when God’s will is fully realized in our lives (individually and collectively), and times when the fullness of God’s plan for us is yet to be completed. Waiting and working for the fullness of God’s kingdom is what faith is about.
Dear God, let me cultivate my faith like the farmer, sewing seeds, planting, weeding, and patiently waiting for the rain and the sunshine as your send them. Amen.