Habakkuk 1:2–4 ‘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.’ (v3)
At 28 Camus wrote, ‘Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.’ We all search for life’s meaning to define our existence. Selwyn Hughes argued that Significance (the opposite of meaningless) offered one of three pillars offering a purposeful life, along with Security and Self-Worth. Our world reveals imbalances, peace and war, wealth and poverty, and social development and environmental degradation.
Viktor Frankl, suffering in a concentration camp, considered what motivated him to live. His conclusions were sharing his food, providing emotional comfort to prisoners, and focusing on his love for wife and family, also imprisoned. He wrote that for survival we need a meaning for our life that gives hope and builds resilience.
Habakkuk considers his conflicted world, struggling with how to reconcile this with God, who invites him to keep watching as he struggles with his questions. We too are invited to talk with God and bring our questions of meaning with all their many foci. Finally, in what I assume is a state of mental and emotional exhaustion, Habakkuk quietly entrusts his need for understanding to God’s purpose, ‘Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines …yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour (Hab. 3:17a—18). Without abandoning his search, he accepts that God’s work is beyond his understanding, requiring only trust. Disciples need a resilient faith.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Isa. 55:8—13; Hab. 3:1—19; Matt. 6:19—34; Phil. 4:10—20.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Ask, “What is the meaning of my life now?” Note your answers. Now ask “What do I want my life to mean?” Compare your answers. What decisions does this present?
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, teach me to walk with You every day. Amen.’ (Hab. 3:19)