Habakkuk’s Complaint

Written by Ashley Oliver-Thomas, Pastor in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

Trees with light coming through. A Voice in the Wilderness

Habakkuk 1:1-4

The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw. O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So, the law becomes slack, and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous; therefore, judgment comes forth perverted.


This passage is titled, “Habakkuk’s Complaint.” When I read these words, I picture Habakkuk in a dark place. Physically, emotionally, or maybe both. Perhaps he was lost, amidst his own wilderness, unable to see any evidence of light.

Have you ever found yourself in a place similar to Habakkuk’s? A place where you catch yourself asking God, “How much longer will this last? How much longer will I suffer?”

You can’t help but plead for God to bring you out of it.

I remember feeling that way last winter. I had been sick – the sickest I had been in my life thus far. I took two trips to the hospital with a heart rate creeping far too close to 200 for the doctors liking. After nearly a week, they discovered from a second chest x-ray that I had pneumonia. I think I would need more fingers and toes on my body to count how many times I asked God (and my husband, parents, and doctors) “How much longer will this pain, these symptoms, last?” My own sick, dark wilderness, I found myself sinking into.

The wilderness isn’t always a dark place, but sometimes, it is, and it can feel lonely, uncertain, and endless. Sometimes, the only comfort we have is the truth that we aren’t alone. We have the comfort of knowing Jesus is beside us, holding our hand as we walk whatever journey is set before us. This Lenten season, may we remember, and remind others, that we are not alone, and when our voices cry out to God and plead to God, we are heard by the One who gave us a voice in the beginning.


A Voice in the Wilderness: Lent 2024

Find all entries from A Voice in the Wilderness online here: haymarketchurch.org/lent24