There are times in my life when I feel like I am shouldering a burden far too heavy for me to carry. I’m a pretty strong person, but some things in life are too big for me to lift. And after more than four months of lifting and tugging and pulling and dragging, the weight I’ve been carrying around (even though I know I’m not supposed to be carrying it) is finally starting to wear me down.
I spent much of last week feeling somewhat like Atlas. Atlas was a figure out of Greek mythology whose punishment was to hold up the heavens. I can only imagine how heavy that would have been. I’m sure it makes my paltry problems look like feathers in comparison, but Atlas is a mythological figure and I’m pretty real … at least, I was the last time I checked.
And I know I’m not supposed to carry things on my own. I know I’m not supposed to worry. I know I’m not supposed to try to do all this on my own. I know that. But I’m human enough to try it anyway.
Today’s verse is Habakkuk 2:20.
But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.
I love Habakkuk. It’s an amazing book, and it’s fun to say besides. I had never paid much attention to it until my freshman year of college when I was far away from home and feeling very alone and isolated. I was at a “Christian” college, and one sermon preached at chapel was on Habakkuk. And it got me thinking, especially about this last verse. Because most of Habakkukis about how wrong the world is. How unjust, how unfair, how ugly–and why God isn’t doing anything about it.
So where does verse 20 come in? Because it’s basically the equivalent of saying that God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world. How can anyone say that? Because there’s nothing right with the world.
People hurt each other. They lie to each other. They disappoint each other. They try to control each other, and when they fail they resort to backstabbing.
We turn our backs on people who need help. We bury ourselves in our comfort zones and ignore the warning signs that trouble is coming, and then we blame everyone around us when the floor falls out from under us.
Our world calls good evil and evil good. And even in our Christian culture we revere people instead of God. We follow men. We follow religions. We follow churches. And we forget what really matters. We forget what’s really real.
We’re all broken. And not many of us really seem to care.
So what does Habakkuk 2:20 mean?
Whatever else is going on in our screwed-up world, one thing is certain: God is still here. He hasn’t left us. He hasn’t abandoned us. He’s still hanging around, even though we’ve given Him every reason to walk away. He promised He wouldn’t leave us. And He hasn’t.
If you doubt it, look for Him. He’s easier to find than you might think.
And if God is still around, that means we still have some hope. Because that means He still knows what He’s doing. He still knows what’s coming. And He still knows how to make everything work out.
And that’s why this verse is so important. Because it means that no matter how bad things get, no matter how hurt you are, no matter how disappointed you may be or how discouraged or how depressed, God is still here. And that means, the world can just shut up. Because nothing they say can change that.
The world is broken. It’s falling apart at the seams.
But God is in His temple. The earth is silent before Him. Because there’s no problem too big for Him. There’s no disaster too catastrophic for Him. And there’s no person too lost for Him.
And that means I need to stop trying to carry it all on my own. I can’t change anything by worrying over it. All I can do is talk to God about it and trust that He knows what He’s doing.
And even though nothing may be right in the world, God is still there. And that’s enough for me.