A Word with You - Jan. 9, 2009

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Your Emergency Lights

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I was at my friend Dave's house, meeting with a group of teenagers and it happened. We had been eating together out on his porch when the sky suddenly turned really nasty. We hustled inside, just before the skies started dumping rain and the thunder and lightning started - big time thunder and lightning. I wanted to continue our conversation under the dining room table, but no one wanted to join me there. So we went to the living room. Now you may have heard that theory about the origin of the universe - the Big Bang. Well, we heard it right then and there. Not the one that some people say started the universe, but the one that knocked all the lights out. That lightning bolt had knocked out all the electrical power in the area. But were we in total darkness? Oh no. My friend Dave is a bright boy. After the last hurricane in their area, he installed some emergency lights on a battery-powered auxiliary power system. So we had lights; lights that reverted to internal power when everything else failed!

Old Testament prophet Habakkuk - a man who felt like all the lights had gone out. He was really struggling with events that he didn't like - he didn't understand. His book opens with him asking a question many of us have asked at one time or another, "How long, O Lord?" He was having a hard time waiting for God to do what He was going to do. Nothing was going the way Habakkuk had hoped it would.

But his heart has totally changed by the end of the book. In Habakkuk 3:16 he says, "Yet I will wait patiently." He's taken hands off and he's finally quit trying to tell God how to run things. Now here's where he describes a situation like that stormy night in my friend's house when everything that might produce light fails.

Verse 17, "Though the fig tree does not bud and there no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fail and the fields produce no crops..." Now think just a minute, in a farming area, this is a description of total disaster. He says, "though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls." OK, wait a minute. We're talking the total triumph of Murphy's Law here. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. Does that sound familiar at all? All the reasons for being happy seem to have failed. The lights of joy have gone out.

Though all the external sources of joy have failed, Habakkuk concludes, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength." This man of God says, "I've found a source of joy that is totally independent of how things are going, totally independent of any circumstances. I am anchoring myself to the Sovereign Lord who is totally in charge, whether it looks like it or not...on my God who is my Savior in this situation...on my Lord who literally is my strength to handle this hard time."

We're talking Murphy-proof joy; a light that stays on when all the external power sources fail. And, as a result, "The Sovereign Lord" he says, "enables me to go on to the heights." By carrying me through this disastrous time, God has put me on a high place where I have the perspective to see the big picture, to see my personal situation, my personal history through God's eyes.

So, if your joy is attached to your circumstances, when the storm knocks them out, you'll be in the dark. But if your joy is internally generated from an unshakable relationship with your awesome, Sovereign Lord, then you have light that will be there when every other light fails.

Copyright © 2008 Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

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