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Clinging to God

As I write this article, my wife and I are getting ready to take our seven-month old daughter Abigail down to Loma Linda for surgery on her right kidney. We’re thankful that little Abby will get excellent care and has a high probability of success. But even more importantly, we’re thankful she is in God’s loving hands.

Life is not easy. We often have to live by faith, and not by sight. One of the ancient prophets who learned this was Habakkuk. His name in Hebrew means “the clinger,” and that is precisely what God taught Him -- to cling to the Lord every day.

Habakkuk lived in turbulent times. There was famine in Israel, and the army of Babylon was approaching. Hungry and outnumbered, the Israelites trembled. After all, Babylon did not have a reputation for showing mercy to their prisoners of war.

But as the chariots thundered closer and the infantry kicked dust high into the air, Habakkuk gathered his composure and wrote a beautiful poem of trust in God:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food; the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

The prophet’s forecast looked bleak. Tasty treats like figs and grapes would soon dry up. Then staple crops like olives and wheat would fail. Finally, all the animals would die from starvation or enemy slaughter. But in spite of this, Habakkuk put his joy in the Lord and kept clinging to him.

Can the same be said of us? Thankfully, we aren’t defending against an enemy attack or in a life-threatening drought. But many of us are in an uphill battle every day. Financial trouble. Sickness. Loneliness. Addiction.

Don’t despair! God is still our strength. He will care for us, if we will turn to him. He already proved his love by giving his son to die for our sins. And in the end, he will make all things new for those who trust in Jesus (Revelation 21:5).

By the time you read this, Abigail’s surgery should be over. Hopefully, she will already be on the road to recovery. But no matter what, we know we can cling to God and rejoice in Him, for He is our strength.

This article was written last week for publication in today's edition of our local newspaper, the Hi Desert Star.

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