Thankfulness on the Ramparts: Habakkuk and WSS

It’s hard when good things end, isn’t it? Or when life takes an unexpected turn, leaving behind something that was great and wonderful, moving in a direction of uncertainty, doubt, sadness, or pain. Life is full of these kinds of changes. We all have challenges and changes that we are wrestling with. I know I’ve been grappling hard with the possibility of Weidemann-Steiner Syndrome. It’s a lifelong diagnosis. If Sophie is diagnosed with this syndrome, we will forever let go of the idea that Sophie’s going to “grow out of it” or “catch up.” These things may be true still in many ways, but this syndrome is something that she will always carry this side of heaven. That’s heavy. These thoughts, this syndrome, are a force to be reckoned with. I feel a little bit like Habakkuk right now, wrestling it out with God, waiting for what God will say to me.  As I turn to reflect on Habakkuk’s story, I see many familiar notes in my Bible: By his name, the words “God wrestler” and “God hugger.” I know his story of wrestling is one I need to revisit. Maybe my wrestling needs to turn into hugging it out, just like I imagine it did for Habakkuk.

I identify with Habakkuk’s resolution in the beginning of chapter 2: “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” rampartsHabakkuk chooses a place of height, the ramparts, where he can see for a great distance, and a place of protection, where he can guard himself. It’s good during these times of trial and waiting to station ourselves in a place where we can gain some perspective, and to guard our hearts as we wait for what God would say to us. I find that nothing restores my perspective like thankfulness. It is an important practice in times of loss and hardship. As I wait in the ramparts, I will choose thankfulness. (More to come on how this is taking shape in our family.)

God immediately answers Habakkuk in the text: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on the tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

As Habakkuk stands in the ramparts, he hears God’s word, and is instructed to have the herald run with that message. Maybe that’s just what heralds do — they run. I’m not much of a runner myself, but I am familiar with the Hebrews passage that tells each of us to run the race marked out for us. I know that God has a path marked out for me as well. My heart is to be his herald, running with all I have to share the very good news of what God is doing in our lives.

PathEven as I write, I realize that’s his answer: Run. Run your race. Be my herald. Run this race that is before you. Even if you can’t see clearly, wait for it, keep moving forward. I never prove false. WSS is limited by the brokenness of this world, and I know no limits. There’s no room for meandering, or petering, or sitting on the sidelines. It’s time to run.


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