Faith is stepping off into the dark, not quite knowing where we’ll land. Once we see, no longer need faith. And so faith includes waiting, which can be excruciating. One reading this Sunday is from the prophet Habakkuk, who expresses his anguish that “…the law becomes slack and justice never prevails." He resolves to keep watch to see how God will answer his complaint. And the Lord does answer: “Write the vision; make it plain,” so that it can be seen from afar. “For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie.“ He adds “...the righteous live by their faith.”
That is our job description, to live by faith, no matter how strong or weak we feel, no matter how little evidence we see. Jesus says to his disciples, “So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless servants; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”
It’s not the most gentle language, yet I don’t think Jesus was calling his disciples worthless. He is speaking to his inner circle, who should know better by now. And we too should think of ourselves as servants than entitled consumers. Servants don’t get to call all the shots; they do their jobs. They honor the people around them, and they take a day off. And they don’t get to regulate the timing. In an “I want it and I want it now” culture, that can be hard for us.
Is there something that you want now – or yesterday – that seems a long time coming? Certainly justice. Rational discourse. Responsible leadership. An end to violence. Those are a few “big picture” desires.
What about in your own life? What does God seem to be “tarrying” over an awfully long time? Is there something have you waited for a long time and then received? Remember...
One way to pray is to plant a “seed of faith” when we make our desires known to God. And then trust that it is growing – keep giving thanks even before we see how that answer is unfolding. Jesus says, “First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn on the stalk.”
We give thanks by faith until faith gives way to sight.
God’s vision will be realized at the appointed time. "It speaks of the end, and it does not lie."
God’s desires cannot be rushed, nor can they be delayed. They can only be trusted in.
Wait for it. God may seem slow, but God will bring Life into being. Have faith.