In the midst of the years



May 14, 2012, 9:28 AM

“Oh LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2).

I was at a retreat a couple of weeks ago in which the topic was Habakkuk, so I sat and read the three chapters on the beach. I think I have been to that beach with my children, but I cannot recall distinctly. In any case, I did far too little with them and I said far too little to them. Now my youngest is a month from high school goodbyes and her much anticipated flight from the nest. I have lived my life mostly with the faith of a three-watt light bulb, a flickering three-watt light bulb at that. There is something about the ocean that tells the truth.

I stand, at age 60, “in the midst of the years”—in a dry place between the dramas of Exodus and Armageddon. In my dryness I have heard the report of these exploits of yore, like a distant rumor, and wondered like Gideon once wondered:

“Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us …” (Judges 6:13).

“I need a reviving now, Lord, in the midst of the years,” I said as I walked by the sea. In the midst of an age where no signature events of history are scheduled.

“You return man to dust and say, ‘Return, O children of man!’ For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream. … For all our days pass under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh” (Psalm 90:3-9).

I wish I had feared you, Lord. I so wish it. I loathe my timidity and the years that the locusts have eaten. Surely Satan deceived me and I was deceived.

In wrath remember mercy, Lord. In the name of Jesus I rebuke Satan’s final temptation to believe that all is lost with my children. In the midst of the years, Lord—even in the lull between the Red Sea parting and the final churning of the oceans and shaking of the sky to loose the stars and moon—revive your works. Even as the strong men bow down and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim, revive your work in our day.