When God Seems Uninvolved

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The book of Habakkuk provides an inside look at the author’s struggles with God.  Contrary to the typical format of prophetic literature, Habakkuk approached God on behalf of the people instead of speaking to the people on behalf of God.  In his raw, vulnerable prayers, Habakkuk expressed frustration with God’s alleged inactivity.

Twice in the opening chapter, Habakkuk accused God of idleness, the second accusation following God’s explicit assurance of activity.  Because Habakkuk preferred – even expected – God to work differently, the prophet pointed his finger at the Almighty and essentially said, “I don’t think You’re doing anything about my circumstances, but since You say You’re at work, maybe You should try doing a better job.”

Habakkuk’s situation wasn’t entirely unique.  How many times throughout Scripture was God seemingly uninvolved or inactive?

Think of Noah, tasked with building an ark for an impending flood many, many years before the event actually occurred.  But God was doing something. 

Think of Joseph, thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, attacked for his integrity, and imprisoned wrongly.  But God was doing something.

Think of the Israelites, delivered from captivity in Egypt only to spend the next four decades wandering through a wilderness.  But God was doing something.

Think of Job, who lost his livelihood and all of his children in a single day, only for his health to decline dramatically soon thereafter.  But God was doing something. 

Think of Daniel, a faithful servant of God who earned good standing with the most prominent men of his lifetime, later the victim of a cruel plot and thrown into a den of hungry lions.  But God was doing something.

Think of Jesus, betrayed by one of His closest companions, condemned to death without a proper trial, beaten brutally and nailed to a cross, suffered the torment of God’s wrath, and eventually died and was buried in a guarded tomb.  But God was doing something.

God doesn’t waste our circumstances, no matter how useless they feel at the time.  In what may appear to be the least likely of places, God is at work for His ultimate glory and our eternal good. 

Are the odds stacked against you?  Does it feel like everyone has turned on you?  Does your current season of life feel directionless?  Has your world come crashing down?  God is doing something.

Noah’s story included rescue.  Joseph’s story included vindication.  The Israelites’ story included provision.  Job’s story included restoration.  Daniel’s story included deliverance.  And Jesus’ story included – best of all – resurrection.

I’m not sure what your life entails right now, but I know for sure God is doing something, whether or not you can identify it.  As evidenced in the lives of those who have gone before you, God will have the last word in your story.  He hasn’t lost control.  He hasn’t stopped noticing.  He hasn’t stopped caring.  And He certainly hasn’t stopped working.

When life isn’t going your way, when you’re struggling with sin, when relationships are strained, when finances are tight, God is at work, but He doesn’t allow us to see the finished product of His activity in this lifetime.  In fact, He doesn’t even promise to reverse our circumstances on earth, although sometimes He might.  The assurance we have from His Word is of a coming Day when we’ll see with tear-free eyes the fulfillment of His promise to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).  Because that Day is coming, we can trust He’s doing something today.

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