The Morning Newspaper Of Habakkuk

“This little book of Habakkuk is like the morning newspaper.” Said my friend Lena.

Short. Intense. Informative.

The prophet has a problem with God. I don’t know if I should find his brutal honesty endearing, or rude? “Why you idly look at wrong?”, “Why you remain silent?” (Habakkuk 1-2).

God breaks the silence with a rebuttal. We get a glimpse of why sometimes we don’t get answers in our suffering. Habakkuk 1:5 ESV “For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

Three dynamite lessons recorded by Habakkuk to benefit us.

God is at work even if I don’t see it. I don’t have to see gravity to not jump from the fifth floor. “For I am doing a work in your days

I would argue. “…would not believe if told” A cancer patient wrote “If an explanation would help, God would write me one—I know it. But maybe an explanation would only start an argument between us.”

I may not like it. “I am raising up the Chaldeans” Habakkuk hopes God would raise Judah, not the enemies. Chaldeans were the inhabitants of Babylon. In a few years little cousin Judah will be sent in timeout for 70 years under supervision of mean cousin Babylon. (Abram came from Chaldea, hence their “cousin-ship”.) My mentor told me once “Naty, I don’t have to like it to benefit me.”

Mark, our farmer-friend from Indiana, told us once “Suffering is soul fertiliser.” It stinks indeed, yet it produces fruit. Number two fruit of the Spirit is “joy”. Can suffering produce “joy” too? Most often I see it as a thief, not a giver.

As I was prepping to teach a workshop in Germany on Choosing Joy, I read this line from a pastor “Suffering will enlarge the capacity for ‘joy.’ You rejoice over smaller things.” It shocked my socks off.

A Romanian seminary professor who had triple aortic dissection shares after 5 months from facing death “So close to death, and so greedy for life, I now celebrate life of everything. Even mosquitos.” Our neighbors and we are plotting against mosquitoes this summer. Yet, this professor seems to sing happy birthday as they multiply.

Katherine Wolf, an aspiring model and young mom collapsed, suffering “a massive brain stem stroke”. Whatever that means. Except it can’t be good if you stay 40 days on life support in the ICU, 2 years in full-time brain rehab, and have 11 brain surgeries. She lost even the capacity to scratch, or swallow. One of her greatest celebration was the day she could swallow pizza again.

Suffering will enlarge the capacity for our joy. We need to relearn to rejoice over small things in a society that teaches us we are entitled to more than we deserve. (My oldest wants a lambo.)

By the end of the Morning Newspaper of Habakkuk the prophet will burst into a song. How did he journey there? We will see in the next few articles. Till then, let’s sing with Jeremy Camp the first song he penned after his wife Melissa passed away from cancer shortly after they married…

🎵“Cause I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe”🎵

When I don’t see the hand of God, may I trust the heart of God. In our prayer time, may we seek His face not just his hand. We’re in a relationship with a Sovereign God, not a vending machine that takes up my orders. 🎵Even when I don’t see, I still believe.🎵

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