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Clinging to God

I was given a book with this title written by Emilie Griffin. I read the book several years ago and was struck by the image of intimacy with God that the title implies. The image of clinging to God is powerful. For some reason the idea of clinging is not so much out of desperation, but out of pure love and devotion. I ran across this phrase while reading the Psalms. Psalm 63:8 says, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” This is the same Psalm that opens with the phrase, “my soul thirst for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” These images brought hope to King David during his sleepless nights (verse 6 implies that he is up through the watches of the night) while he was in exile in Judah running from King Saul who sought his life.

The idea that God would long to be that intimate with us even before Christ covered our sins is amazing. David felt God’s nearness and presence the most in the desert. Sometimes intimacy with God requires desert experiences. It is only when God is all we have that we really come to see and experience Him for who He is. One doesn’t cling to God if one is distracted by the world. Clinging to God is felt only by those who detach from this world and open their eyes to the gifts of heaven.

Clinging alludes to the notion of a satisfaction that one desires to keep and never let go. It conjures up the idea of feeling that your best self is brought forth in the presence of the other. You tend to cling to the one you think does your life most good. David didn’t blame God for his present condition in the desert. He didn’t ask Him, “Why?” David’s inability to get comfort from the world opened his eyes to a spiritual comfort that could not be taken away. He discovered a love that is better than life (verse 3).

Do you find yourself clinging to God? Have you ever felt so loved and connected to Him that you begged Him not to leave you. In later years, David’s sense of clinging to God was not as intense. When life was good and the kingdom secure; David seduced a married woman, deceived her husband, and finally orchestrated the man’s death. Obviously, his sense of clinging to God was diminished. However, once that sin was exposed one of the cries of his heart was a pleading to God that He would not take His Spirit from him (Psalm 51:11).

Difficult circumstances lead us to cling to God. Maintaining the longing to cling to Him when difficulties lift is the real spiritual challenge. Set your soul to cling to God. Observe all the ways that His right hand upholds you. Open your heart, mind and soul to see His goodness to you moment by moment. Experience the spiritual reality of clinging to God.

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