Leadership Principle #35: The green pastures of the future can only be reached through determined patience. “Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.” – Hab 2:3
We can predict with great accuracy what will happen in the next moment or the next hour, sometimes even the next day. But the One Day is different.
The One Day is the “some day” of our desires, the fulfillment of our wishes that may or may not unfold.
Christians look forward to the day they’ll be in heaven. Entrepreneurs look toward their cash-out, when all the sweat and blood will come back as gold. Weary parents anticipate the time when their babies leave diapers behind.
Habakkuk wrote his book of prophecy in the midst of the Babylonian occupation of Judah. The prophet expressed patience for his people’s salvation: “Now I must quietly wait for the day of distress to come against the people invading us” (Habakkuk 3:16b).
Rather than fret about his circumstances, the prophet decided to joyfully wait for the Lord’s deliverance. He reminded the people that though it appeared God had deserted them, he had in fact promised to deliver them if only they would halt their spiritual rebellion.
Are you waiting for something? The older I get, the more I expect disappointments and delays; the more I have to practice faith and patience. While I can’t control the future or the past, the present is something I can affect.
Like a child on a long trip, Habakkuk repeatedly asked his father in heaven, “How much longer?”
God had revealed to Habakkuk that he would raise up a nation to judge the sinful Israelites, but he would also rescue them at an appointed time. “Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late” (Habakkuk 2:3). God doesn’t promise the wicked will fall on a specific day, but he guarantees it will occur at the exact right time!
Martin Luther King, Jr., had a One Day dream, which he spoke about in his famous speech in 1963 (my italics):
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together…. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
Tom Harper is president of Networld Media Group, a publisher of online trade journals and events for the banking, retail, restaurant and church leadership markets. He is the author of Leading from the Lions' Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H).