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A Study in Stewardship - Week of November 23

  • 2022 Nov 23

Discovering God's Design

Delayed Gratification

Verse: Habakkuk 3

In Habakkuk 2:2–3, God asks his prophet to record a vision of a future day—a day when the Lord will respond to injustice. Habakkuk 2:4 spells out that we are to live until that day “by his faithfulness,” not by sight. Habakkuk 3:3–15 reveals the content of the vision.

Habakkuk is deeply changed; his response in 3:16–19 clearly illustrates what it means to live by faith in God’s promise. After a moment’s recuperation from the cosmic events that he has just witnessed, the prophet declares, “I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us” (Hab 3:16). Habakkuk is willing to live amid socioeconomic upheaval, without physical or financial safety or security. Why? Because he knows a day is coming when things will be changed.

The following anonymous email has circulated on the Internet:

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough.”

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.”

They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?”

“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is—the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

“When you were saying goodbye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”

She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations” … “When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.”

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger …

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”

Think About It

•How does Habakkuk’s response to the vision from God encourage you to respond in a similar way to tough times?
•We await a final day when all wrongs will be righted and all tears wiped away. In the meantime, what constitutes “enough” for you?
•Does your “enough” change with your circumstances?

Pray About It

Lord, you are mighty and have the future in your hand. No matter what I face today, I will live by faith in you.

This devotion is from the NIV Stewardship Study Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

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