Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
As a child we had a classroom experiment where we had chicken eggs in an incubator, everyday we watched them hoping today would be the day they would hatch, but alas. It takes several weeks for them to hatch. As an impatient child that was very difficult, I felt like every day was a let down.
Decades ago, author Catherine Marshall wrote, “Prayers, like eggs, don’t hatch as soon as we lay them.”
The prophet Habakkuk wrestled with waiting in prayer. Frustrated at God’s silence with Babylon’s brutal mistreatment of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Habakkuk commits to “stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts,” to “look to see what he will say to me” (Habakkuk 2:1).
God replies that Habakkuk is to wait for the “appointed time” (v. 3) and directs Habakkuk to “write down the revelation” so the word can be spread as soon as it’s given (v. 2).
What God doesn’t mention is that the “appointed time” when Babylon falls is six decades away, creating a long gap between promise and fulfillment. Like eggs, prayers often don’t hatch immediately but rather incubate in God’s overarching purposes for our world and our lives.