Treading the High Places

“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
Or cry to you ‘Violence!’
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
    so justice goes forth perverted.

“Look among the nations, and see;
    wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
    that you would not believe if told…”

“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.

‘Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith…’

“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 1:2-5; 2:1-4; 3:17-19

When much of life is a complaint against wickedness, vile activity, and injustice, there is only one station for gaining God’s perspective and hope. In order to turn grumbling into gratitude and fear to faith, our watch post must be high and hushed. The high places were littered with idolatrous alters, but treading them defines victory over their sinister pull and pollution. (Habakkuk 1:12-13)

We can plod through the lowlands with limited vision and heavy attitudes, or scale the heights in the strength of the Lord. We can be crushed by the weight of worry, injustices, and fear of things, or we can crest the circumstances with a long and lofty view. Taking in the vastness of God’s will and divine economy of His timing helps us endure the distance we must cover before relief and resolution. Complaint turns to confidence when circumstances are seen on God’s scale and with His eternal lenses.

Would we choose to tread the heights in our thinking, acknowledging and rejoicing in the fact that God knows His plans for a hope and future? Would we tuck every pain, dearth, and want into the sufficiency of our salvation? Would we be still long enough to gain His perspective and know that He is God, and will one day be exalted in the nations of the earth? (Psalm 46:10; Jeremiah 29:11)

Lord, help me tread in faith where You have gone before me on the heights, rejoicing in You over every circumstance, in my salvation, and because of Your righteous rule in earth and heaven.

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