2003-03-06 - I Go to the Rock
Ps 61:1-3 Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth I call to Thee, when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For Thou hast been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy (NAS)
There are days that seem like they will never end. One bit of bad news or one problem after another seems to cross your path in a relentless, mocking parade. The clock ticks to quitting time but the boss needs you to stick around until a problem is solved. There is too much month left at the end of the money. Sometimes the days come in streams that feel like they take years off of your life. When a friend throws a painful barb in, not unlike Job's wife, when a kind word would be like water in the desert, you start to wonder if it will ever end.
There are times when even church or home do not feel like a refuge. I think it was Moody who once was quoted as saying that the heavens felt like brass reflecting his prayers back. What a mental picture that creates. But God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. It may be that the trouble we are going through has His purpose on it and the relief we seek is not coming yet. Sometimes the answer to a prayer is, "Wait." Trusting God to know that He is in control and knows what He is doing in moments like these is a growth experience for almost everyone. We grow more when we are stretched and pulled than when we sit in the sunshine on the mountain top.
Those mountain top moments are to be treasured indeed. They are a taste of Heaven and a down payment of things to come. But the Rock and the Lighthouse are found in the storms of life. Sometimes it takes a stubbornness to trust through the pain. There are often easier ways out of a storm. The Disciples found themselves being swamped on the Sea of Galilee in a sudden storm that are not uncommon there. Jesus was asleep, a perfect picture of trust. When the men woke Him, He gave them a glimpse of His awesome power and calmed the sea and sky with the command, "Peace. Be Still." Then He turned and He rebuked the men for their lack of faith.
The language indicates that the change was immediate. From raging wind and water to complete calm. The storm had God's purpose on it. And like some of our troubles there was no way around the turmoil for the fishermen. Their faith was strengthened to see the Lord work in their situation and their lives. God can take even the darkest plans of the enemy and turn them to His purpose and plan. And not everything that appears to work against us is the work of the adversary of our souls. Even when we must go through trials, He has promised never to allow more than we can bear to be heaped on us. In this too God is a refuge providing protection. But sometimes we get to see the storm suddenly calm - no foam, no slowly settling waves, no disapating wind. Just a sudden and profound calm where there is no mistaking the Author.
Grace & Peace,