How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Habakkuk 1:2-3 (NIV)
During my lifetime I have had numerous surgeries. I no longer feel the customary fear that many people have approaching such events. At one time I was nervous but now I find myself rather calm. One time recently, when a nurse was preparing me for surgery, she commented on my attitude as she took my blood pressure and blood sugars. Both were in the normal range indicating a lack of anxiety.
I am the type of patient who finds medical matters fascinating and when I am in the doctor’s office I ask a lot of questions about how the doctor or surgeon is planning to treat my medical issues.
But it never occurs to me to give the surgeon advice. Surgery is usually a rather complex matter and the attending doctor has gone to school for many years and assisted in operating rooms for years to develop the knowledge and skills to take charge of an operation. Sane people are well aware that they are not competent to advise a doctor about medical treatment.
The prophet Habakkuk, who wrote our verses for today, was struggling in prayer to the Lord and wanted to know why God did not act as he had suggested in previous prayers.
Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation today. You have asked for your situation to be improved like Habakkuk did but instead it only got worse. You wonder if God is listening or not. Believe me when I say that the Lord listens to your prayers—just as He welcomed and listened to Habakkuk’s prayers and suggestions—about how to change things.
The Lord allows us to make suggestions to Him about how to deal with us and others, but wisely He does what He determines is really best. If we do not give the surgeon advice, we ought to be careful about giving the sovereign Lord of the universe advice.