When all that's left is God: Habakkuk's wisdom

Sam Petitfils

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places."  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Living in an agrarian society, Habakkuk’s readers understood their dependency on seasonal crops as a means of living. In fact, they depended on it.  At the close of his book, Habakkuk comforted his readers by describing an extreme scenario: What if they lost everything?  His response: sometimes “everything” is not everything. What they supposed constituted life did not, in fact, constitute life.  They did not necessarily need the crops from the field, but they did need the God who generated those crops.

We need to reflect similarly and ask ourselves some extreme questions of our own.  What if we didn’t get what we thought we needed?  What if our prayers did not get answered in the precise manner we hoped for? What if our dreams did not get fulfilled?  This all leads to one final conclusive question: what would be left?  For Habakkuk, God is left, and what more could he ask for?

Sometimes in life, we get precisely what we ask for and, of course, we rejoice.  More often, however, we don’t. But what God gives us is His grace, a far more valuable blessing.  Even the Apostle Paul, no stranger to answered prayer, asked God to remove a thorn from his flesh, an irritating affliction of some nature (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  God did not grant Paul his specific request, but gave him something better: His grace. Upon reflection, Paul rejoiced and later learned contentment in any life situation (Philippians 4:10-13).

So consider what you have at the end of apparent failure or misfortune.  Child of God, you have more than you might imagine.  You have the watchful eyes of God upon your life, His loving care watching over your every move, and His endearing and enduring peace ruling your soul.  We, too, need to ask, “what more do we need?”

Look at Habakkuk’s prayer above, and meditate upon it.  Pray for acceptance of God’s best for your life and surrender to His wisdom.  When life seems to crumble before you and pressures mount, don’t forget one thing: you haven’t truly lost anything of necessity because you have not lost God’s love.  At the end of a long and trying period you may be tempted to despair, but take heart, God will fulfill His purposes for your life.  Trust in His wise and sovereign care for your life.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. John Gregory wrote:
Truly great lesson! True words. Again, Thanks John Gregory

Fri, July 4, 2014 @ 9:26 AM

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