I have always loved this verse in Habakkuk and I never really understood why. I still don’t fully understand why I’m so drawn to it, but it’s been whirling in my spirit for about a week now. I read it last week and got a different revelation than I had in times past. It’s like I had an epiphany. I said to God, “I want to be a runner!” I want to carry the correct message to others!
This verse was a response from God during a conversation He and Habakkuk were having. Habbakuk had been seeing a lot of violence and injustices around him. He was crying out to God and asking him to respond to his complaints. He wanted to know why all of these things were going on. He soon realized in God’s responses to him that God was in full control and that he had a plan far larger than we could imagine. God told Habakkuk to write His responses plainly on tablets so that a runner could continue to carry that message from place to place. God said, “This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” Habakkuk 2:3
Then I got to thinking. There has to be more than one type of runner. Because I remember a time, not too long ago, when I didn’t want to run in the right direction. I wasn’t concerned about carrying any messages anywhere. I was a runner, but I was more like Jonah. I found myself running away from what God was trying to accomplish through me. The Lord gave Jonah a message to deliver to the people of Nineveh, “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.” Jonah 1:3 We know the rest of the story right? God sent a great storm, and Jonah had the nerve to be down in the bottom asleep like he wasn’t the cause of all of this. Disobedience to God is not only dangerous to our lives, but it also places those around us in a compromising position. Not only was Jonah in the terrible storm, but so were the other men on the boat. They knew he was running from God and asked Jonah what they should do. He told them to throw him over. After trying to spare his life, the storm intensified and they finally threw him over. “…and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord ’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:15-17
That could have been the end of Jonah’s life, but even in his arrogance and disobedience God saw mercy on him and used a fish to swallow him to safety. In all of this Jonah humbled himself and God ordered the fish to spit him out onto dry land. And guess what? Jonah finally obeyed God and delivered the message to the people of Nineveh. Now there are so many other dynamics of this story that we could unpack, but at the moment I want us to see this outcome. That in all of Jonah’s efforts to run from the Lord, God’s plan still prevailed.
I know I’m not the only one who ran from God at some point. Maybe you are in that season of your life right now. If you are, I want to urge you to humble yourself and ask God for forgiveness so God can order the fish to spit you out! If God has a call on your life, He will most certainly bring it to past. So stop going through the unnecessary trials and obey God. Become the runner in Habakkuk who gladly carries the correct message to others. Run in the right direction!
I think it’s a thought for us all to ponder. In which direction are you running? Carrying the correct message to others? or in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord?
Annette D. ❤