On the Watchtower

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.'” Habakkuk 2:1-3

Habakkuk, dismayed over Israel’s unfaithfulness, was even more distressed that God would use an unholy nation like Babylon to bring judgment on her. God had said, “Wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told,” and the earnest prophet was astounded, and was not believing it, so he brought his question before his holy Sovereign. Then he took his place “on the tower” to wait for God’s answer, to see with God’s eyes and understand His heart. Leaving the lowlands of human reasoning and the pull of feelings is the only way we can gain God’s perspective.

I remember about 25 years ago meeting my father in New York for the day, walking the city congested with bustle, noise, humanity, and grime, and after dinner, going up to Windows on the World to view the city at night night. From the inside quiet, gazing at the lit buildings and headlights of smoothly-moving vehicles, buffered from odors and horns and crowds, we saw the city in a whole different way, as if we’d changed our glasses. We’d ascended the ramparts and taken on a new perspective. That’s how it works when we climb upward with God to gain His view on all that concerns us here and now, all that twists our wants, diminishes the gleam of our dreams, hurts us from the inside out, distorts our plan of how things should be. He beckons us up above our complaints and circumstances to watch, to listen, to believe that He never delays but will fulfill every promise (even when, like distant separated mountains, their realization seems slow in coming), to wonder at His work because it is His. Do I resolutely take the stand?

Lord on High and in control, station me alongside you moment by moment so I can learn deeper trust, deeper astonishment at Your marvelous, oft invisible, but always good and perfect ways. Teach me patience and joy in the waiting, and always, always, greater love for You Who are working all together for good. (Romans 8:28)

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