“I will climb up into my watchtower now
And wait to see what the lord will say to me
And how He will answer my complaint.”
Habakkuk (imagine the nicknames!) was living in a very messed-up world. A string of wicked leadership had left his world, and his people, under oppression, lawlessness, and immorality. People were living in fear. What had this done to them as a nation? Would they ever get past what life had become? Their “new normal” was far from what life used to be.
Habakkuk, a Prophet of God, needed to get away. He longed to get perspective…. God’s Perspective. He had poured out his complaints to God, and needed to hear back. People looked to him for answers, for help…anything they could grab onto to get through these very tough times.
But first, Habakkuk needed to hear from God.
I was married for 36+ years to a “prophet”….who had courage to speak Truth, whether popular or not. When times were especially troubling, he would head out the door wearing his rattiest old hunting jacket, an old holey pair of jeans, hiking shoes, and his favorite old hat. One look at him told me that he was going to the woods, and into an old tree stand. What was designed to watch for deer became his “watchtower” to get perspective…a higher view of realities. God had placed him in the role he carried, and he needed to be attuned to His Voice. He felt closer to God up there, more focused, and tuned his ear to hear whatever God had to say.
Habakkuk headed to the watchtower. It had been built so that any danger to the people of the region could be detected as early as possible. From its higher view he could see any threats to God’s people that were undetectable from the ground. For this prophet of God, it enabled him to see many things more clearly…to identify the nearby dangers, and gain clearer perspective. Demanding and fearful voices of those under his care were not usually accurate.
Habakkuk waited with expectation to SEE from a higher perspective what God would say, and to HEAR the Answer …. What was TRUE….in the midst of all the mess. He waited for God’s Word to him first, personally.
After my husband went “Home”, I moved into the 3rd floor of my youngest son and his wife’s old Victorian home. The day my furniture was to come, I took time to walk to each window and pay attention to the full view. As I slowly moved from window to window, I realized that from that place I could see most of the key points of Bill’s and my story together. The park of our first “date” where he kept throwing me into piles of Fall leaves….The university parking lot where passionate new Believers would gather to pray before going out onto College Avenue to talk to a lot of troubled youth about finding new lives; the “Office” we used for the growing street outreach that had been birthed from his heart … the Salvation Army space where young people crowded in every Friday night to celebrate their new life with Jesus…The first church building the thriving new group of young Believers would use to gather for weekly Sunday worship. The park beside the river which had been the favorite one for our 3 boys. And the beautiful old cemetery along the river beside which he had often spent time praying…and which had become his final earthy resting place .
As I moved from window to window….memory to memory, God was right there with me…reminding me of the Story He had written through our life together. He had set me in a place that would be a constant reminder of His faithfulness…still actively with me each day…each moment…always.
My unexpected “watchtower” was truly a place of God’s Peace, His Presence, and His Perspective throughout that very tough season. He was there. And now I live beside that river, bordering the park where our family played together, adjacent to that same old cemetery. From my 3rd floor window I can always see that steady river, flowing north, reminding me always that the course of this life goes on (often in uncommon ways), and that God surrounds me with His Love and Presence. He sees….He knows….I can rest in that.
May we look up for God’s Perspective in our troubled days, and listen.