First Posted March 2018
Life can be very demanding. We go from one difficulty to another. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed we feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. I shared this same sentiment on a Facebook post in the past. Years ago, I told Jesus that I was giving up and throwing in the towel. He replied, “Go ahead.” Then, Jesus took the towel and wrapped me in His loving arms with it and loved me throughout the night… that was simply AMAZING!
All of us go through moments like that, sometimes even years. We can become so overwhelmed by life’s challenges, we just want to run away, I mean far away… like to Timbuktu. My beloved, you are not alone. I want to share the story of other brothers and sisters who also had to deal with life’s challenges. Let’s take a peek into our brothers’ and sisters’ lives.
Let’s first look at our brother, King David. After learning that his son, Absalom, was trying to take over his kingdom, King David was anxious and fearful for his life. As you recall for years, King David went through a painful and exhausting ordeal running from King Saul who was out to kill him. But to learn that his flesh and blood wanted to end his life was more than King David could handle. King David wrote in Psalms 55:6 (Amplified)
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”
Have you ever been there? Or are you in that place right now?
What about the prophet Jeremiah? Jeremiah was a prophet everyone hated and he didn’t ask God for the job in the first place. Jeremiah 9:2, states…
“Oh that I had in the desert a wayfarers’ lodging place; that I might leave my people and go from them! For all of them are adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.”
Here is one of my favorite stories from my sweet sister, Anabel, who shared her heart on her web site Lifetime.com. (Please visit her website to learn more about her and Bill’s ministry. She has gone home to be with her Lord.)
How About Timbuktu?
By Anabel Gillham on November 20, 2017
It seems like things just keep piling up on me and around me. I am so weary! I’ve made more mistakes in the last ten days than I have made in the last ten years! I called a friend this afternoon, and we comforted each other with gasps and groans: “No. Not really? I can’t believe that! Bless your heart. I understand dear Friend,” and “I am so sorry.” After I had gone through my lengthy list of complaints and she finally finished her sad tale of woe, I told her, “I’m planning a trip alone to Timbuktu  – going to stay for a while, would you like to go with me?” Her answer, “I can be ready in twenty minutes, can you wait for me?”
The Psalmist says it this way: Oh, for wings like a dove, to fly away and rest! I would fly to the far off deserts and stay there. I would flee to some refuge from all this storm (Psalm 55:6-7). (I wonder if he knew about Timbuktu.)
Have you ever had such thoughts? Oh, just this afternoon? Me too. But, that isn’t an option for us, is it? We’re where God wants us at this time in our lives, so here we stay. And we are more than conquerors, we are filled with His Spirit, able to do all things in Christ, sheltered by His wings, and other incredible promises. (But Timbuktu still sounds nice.)
Habakkuk wasn’t a major prophet and very little is known about him. He was given a word from God, an ominous word, to make known to the people of Judah. “God is going to use the Chaldeans to punish us for turning our backs on Him.” It’s interesting Chaldea was a very sinful nation, yet that nation was going to be used by God to work in the lives of His people in Judah. That, in itself, is something for us to think about. It isn’t that the other nation is righteous, deserving God’s favor. God can use anything or anyone to bring about His will in our lives, regardless of their spiritual condition. In fact, God tells Habakkuk that as soon as Chaldea has accomplished what He has planned for them to do, He will destroy them.
Habakkuk spreads the word, but he is the only one who really believes that God will do as He said. “God wouldn’t use a country as wicked as Chaldea to do His bidding!”
God gives this encouraging word to Habakkuk: “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely the time approaches when this vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient. They will not be overdue a single day (2:3 TLB)!” Habakkuk takes God seriously and is frightened: I tremble when I hear all of this; my lips quiver with fear. My legs give way beneath me and I shake in terror (3:16 TLB). But wait! Listen to Habakkuk’s final thoughts after acknowledging his dread and fear.
“Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit, and though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren, even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty – yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my Strength, and He will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountain (3:17-19 TLB).  The Living Bible
Habakkuk paints a bleak picture for us where everything “seems to be piling up on me!” (Re-read paragraph one.) And I think he would probably be ready to go with us to Timbuktu – “Give me twenty minutes.” But Habakkuk knows God. His brilliant splendor fills the earth and sky; His glory fills the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise. What a wonderful God He is (3:3-4 TLB)! He knows that God is his Strength, that God will pull him through this mess, and that God is all he needs!
So what do we learn from Habakkuk? (1) God will not allow us to continue mocking Him. He will not allow us to continue in our harlotry. And what is meant by harlotry? Giving our heart, mind, and body to something other than God, giving our time, our thoughts, and our very souls to something other than the One who created us and loves us – so much that He gave His life for us! e.g. Money, prestige, TV, career, sports, authority, clothes. (2) He will use whatever He needs in order to humble His people, get their attention and bring them back to Him. (3) It’s all right to feel afraid – this is in the job description of your emotions. But you know that God is in control. (4) Stand firm in your relationship with the Lord, no matter what comes.
“Hey there, it’s me. I’ll give you a call tomorrow – meanwhile let’s forget that trip to Timbuktu. God is with us (and IN US), and what an awesome God He is! Isn’t that all we really need?”
 A city in the West African nation of Mali.
 The words could have different meanings: fig tree: knowledge, fruit of the vine: joy, olive tree: comfort, produce from the field: security, and flocks: strength.
It doesn’t matter what we decide to do, He will always be IN us and with us to take us through the next pain or difficulty if we would just let Him. But always remember, Timbuktu or any other place or thing will never give us rest or hope, we can always RUN INSIDE TO HIM!