Living on the Edge: On the Edge of Hope
Many of us live life on the edge. We use up whatever margins might have been in existence in our lives in order to survive the grind of the treadmill-like existence we sometimes lead. Dr. Richard Swenson, in his book on the subject describes it as follows:
“The conditions of modern-day living devour margin. If you are homeless, we direct you to a shelter. If you are penniless, we offer you food stamps. If you are breathless, we connect the oxygen. But if you are marginless, we give you yet one more thing to do.
Marginless is being twenty minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the hardresser’s because you were ten minutes late dropping the children off at school because your car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station-and you forgot your wallet” (p. 13).
In the deafening roar of life’s stampede, how do we manage. What do you do when Heaven is silent? What do you do when, to the cry of your soul, what you hear in response is the deafening silence of God’s seeming absence? How do you handle when the Creator of the Universe appears to have forgotten you, His own creation?
We’re going to learn some of those lessons as we examine two great writers of the Old Testament, Habakkuk and David. Habakkuk was written during a time period where God was bringing judgement on His people Israel. They were living under captivity of a foreign nation, and their question was “How much longer?”. How much longer do we have to endure a life that stinks? Let’s take just a peek at a couple of passages in the book:
The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received. How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. (Habakkuk 1:1-4)
O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?(Habakkuk 1:12-13)
When We Live on the Edge of Hope….
- We can feel abandoned when God does not “speak”
- We can lose hope when God is not “seen”
- We can believe that God has stopped being just
- We can surrender to fear of evil
“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own.(Habakkuk 1:5-6)
Here are two affirmations of hope that Habakkuk brings to the table for us:
God uses events and circumstances for His glory
For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28)
God is always at work in our world
I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121)
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