Thursday, July 19, 2007

God Our Rock

"...And who is a Rock, except our God?" 2 Samuel 22:32

I have gone through some hard environments and storms in my life, as we all have. Some were potentially faith-shattering, and definitely shook my personal world and beliefs. But in the midst of the pain and darkness of those times I came to discover and inwardly know the Lord as the solid Rock that I needed as an anchor for my soul and for my storm-tossed faith. There is an old hymn, the chorus of which goes: "On Christ, the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand." There is only one truly solid, trustworthy, unmovable place in the universe, and that is in God. Sooner or later we will find that if our hope is in anything other than God Himself we will become disappointed or disillusioned, and shaken in our faith.

Sometimes we think that our faith is solid and rooted in God Himself, and not merely in a belief system or things related to God. Then something happens that really throws us into a tailspin. When that happens we have a choice of what we will do. I love David's response in Psalm 61:2; "From the end of the earth I will cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Sometimes we need something or Someone bigger than us, and He is the higher one, our Rock of safety. Psalm 40 says: "He heard my cry and He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

Jesus tells a story about how a wise man built his house on a rock. Then when the rains came and the water rose and the winds buffeted the house it did not fall because it was built on the rock. Luke 6:48 says, "He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and built a foundation on rock. When a flood came, a torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built." Sometimes our "house" is not on solid ground, but we don't know it until a storm comes along and we get swept off our foundation. But when that happens we can dig down deep inside, deeper than we have gone before, and cry out to the One who is our Rock and He will establish us in and on Himself.

Because of things I have passed through I have discovered what is "sand" and what is "rock" in my life. I have learned that we need to go deeper into God when the storms come. I have learned that God truly is our refuge, our rock, our fortress - a hiding place in the storms of life. We all have had, and will have, different kinds and degrees of stormy situations in our lives (the Word says that in this life we will have tribulations and trials, that our faith may be made strong), but God is there for us in the midst of everything we pass through, in the midst of our darkness and our pain and disappointment. He is there to be our Rock of refuge and our strength if we will cry out to Him.

The preciousness of this truth, the solidness of it, the comfort of it! It is a priceless, saving reality. We have a Rock in our spirit, a Rock that will never leave, a Rock we can depend on, a Rock we can run to and hide under, a Rock that will catch us when we falter, a Rock that will ground us when we are spinning, a Rock to stand on when we are sinking, a Rock we can lean on when we have no strength to go on. He is the Rock of our salvation - this Rock saves us from whatever we need saving from, and He saves us to Himself. We can cry out, "Jesus, be my Rock right now! I'm falling, I'm sinking, I've lost my footing, I feel disoriented. Help! Set my feet on You, be my anchor, ground my heart and my emotions in You right now!" He will not fail us. In the process of learning to know Him in this way sometimes our emotions don't cooperate right away, or the situation doesn't change outwardly as we'd like it to, but He is no less our Rock. He is a safe Rock, a strong Rock whether we believe Him to be or not.

It's like being at the Grand Canyon at an overlook point. As you stand at the railing looking over the canyon, you can either be frozen with fear that you might fall over the edge, or you can rest secure knowing that the railing is firmly anchored in the rock. Either way, the truth is the same - you are safe because of the solidness of the rail and the rock. Just so, we can either live tossed around and in fear of situations and environments, or we can learn to trust and rely on the Rock within to hold us up and be our refuge and strength.

The Lord is our eternal Rock that is there for us every time, whether we believe it or not. But when we begin to believe it and look to Him to be that Rock within, we will be brought into such a solid, sweet inward knowing of our God that will outweigh the pain and the difficulties we are going through or have gone through. Eventually we will even come to the place where we can declare with David, "The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation!"

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