August 2, 2018
Volume 22, Number 27
An interesting article appeared in a recent issue of “Nature” magazine. Researchers from Harvard University were studying lizards in the Turks and Caicos Islands when hurricanes hit the area, forcing them to evacuate. They returned a few weeks later to see the effects the storms had on their study subjects.
Using a common leaf blower they found that a certain tree-hugging species had no problem hanging onto a tree in tropical storm-force winds. Even at 102 mph the winds could not dislodge the reptiles. But when wind speeds hit 108 mph the lizards went flying (safely into a net, we must add).
These lizards are specially adapted for the frequent storms that hit those islands, the researchers concluded. Their front legs are longer than the rear, and the toe pads on their front feet are larger. The article is being hailed as a step forward in evolutionary studies. I personally see it as God’s wisdom in equipping the lizards for high winds.
Christians sometimes are called upon to “hang on” during hurricane-force trials that come into their lives. On our own, such tests can be disastrous. Jesus warned that in times of crisis “the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:12,13). But what can enable us to endure?
The prophet Jeremiah was hanging on as he surveyed the rubble of his beloved destroyed Jerusalem: “My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him” (Lamentations 3:20-24). He trusted God, even as he stood among the ashes.
Another prophet, Habakkuk, was contemplating the same destruction of Jerusalem from the other end – before it happened. As he tried to understand why God would allow such a horrible thing, God stated this principle: “… the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). “Faith” in Scripture is often a synonym for trust, as it is here.
Trust in God enables us to hang on during life’s storms. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6). Like Habakkuk and Jeremiah, events around us may baffle us but we know the Lord is in control.
Is our faith constantly developing? Have we heeded the urging of 2 Peter 3:18 to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”? The formula for growing our faith is simple: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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