This summer, my church family gave me six weeks away to take care of my wife while she underwent a bone marrow transplant, as she fights Multiple Myeloma cancer. She turned just 40 years old while we were in the hospital at Mayo (and yes, I got her permission to share her age).

These past several months, God has taught us both many things about Himself that I’m convinced we could not have learned through the absence of a trial such as this. The chief of those has been through the book of Habakkuk. Those lessons have been so powerful and effective for me that I’m preparing to launch into a sermon series on the book.

Habakkuk was a prophet of God around 600 BC. This was an incredibly difficult time for the people of God. They were being overwhelmed by the Egyptians and the Babylonians. It was a time in which Habakkuk saw sin abounding, and the law of God appears “paralyzed.”

Though Habakkuk continually called out to God to intervene, God seemingly kept silent. When God finally answers Habakkuk, it’s not the answer that the prophet wants.

God effectively answered first that He was using these godless people to bring about His plan (God is capable of using anyone for His plan). But in the long run, far beyond Habakkuk’s time, this would be a story of redemption and restoration.

God said, “I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (Habakkuk 1:5)

When Habakkuk again pleads with God, really complaining that He still isn’t doing anything about the abounding sin and persecution against His own people, he finishes his prayer by essentially saying that he will not sit and wait to see how God answers. (Habakkuk 2:1) Habakkuk demands an answer from God, and in his stubbornness, committed to essentially go on strike until God answered. In His unending patience, God answers Habakkuk with a powerful lesson: “The righteous shall live by faith.”

We often pray and then, like Habakkuk, go on strike. We stand still and refuse to continue following until God answers that prayer or reveals the next answer.

We, in our finite minds, imagine that we deserve to know why God does what he does or doesn’t do what He doesn’t do. We expect or even demand to see the results of our prayers.

But living in righteousness is this: Following God and continuing to be obedient to Him even when we don’t see results. If we would comprehend all that God was doing, we also could not imagine it. It is not our role as followers of Christ to comprehend God’s plan. It is our role simply to follow Him and to be part of His big plan. Practicing walking in obedience to Him, even when – especially when – you don’t understand what He’s doing. God may well be doing something that is beyond your wildest imagination!

Brett Myers is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island.