Monday, November 21, 2022

A Short Watchtower - Autumn Wilson

a short watchtower
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Habakkuk 2:1 NIV

Our home almost killed my mom, and I was angry—but only because I looked on from a short watchtower. 

It took years after she became ill for us to uncover the pitch-black mold coating our insulation. We later discovered that health issues from mold had triggered the previous owners to sell the house to us—a detail neither they nor their realtor disclosed.

After pouring sweat, tears, and thousands of dollars into the house, we eliminated the pestilence and sold the house. For years, I scanned the horizon for even a spark of righteous judgment—one of the suit-clad lawyers from the billboards marching his away across our lawn with righteous indignation and a hefty check, perhaps. He never arrived. How could God watch while my mom suffered? How could he not punish the previous owners? 

Habakkuk, the prophet, asked God why he allowed his people to suffer injustice and violence from lawlessness. The Lord told the prophet that he planned to correct Judah by using the Chaldeans—a “ruthless and impetuous people.” 

Habakkuk complained again. How could God punish the sins of Judah while tolerating the evils of Chaldea? What judge allows a bank robber to chastise a petty thief? Whose court permits a murderer to condemn a trespasser? While standing atop his tower and scanning the horizon, the prophet demands an answer.

God assures the prophet he will punish the Chaldeans as well. Yet, the Lord doesn’t end his response with an itinerary of his judgment. Rather, he declares his sovereignty: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (2:20). 

We rightly ask God to exact justice. Yet, his justice extends beyond what we see in our short watchtowers. No matter how high we climb, we always fail to see God’s whole plan. I did. 

Has your mom started telling people you stole her Floridian lawn flamingos?

Has your catalytic converter disappeared?

Has your family suffered harm from homeowners’ hiding information?

Pray for and pursue justice. But if God chooses to delay, trust him in the meantime. God’s justice will come like a raging fire—even if we never see the spark. 

Tweetable: Are you watching what God is doing in your life? 

Autumn Wilson is a writer and perpetual student of church history. She lives in Dallas, TX, where she studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. On any given day, you can find her staring at a blank Word document, wrangling third graders at church, furrowing her brows at Anselm, or creating homemade escape rooms. 

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