Situation assessment: You are at the end. The end of your options. The end of your resources. The end of your rope. You are as far away from where you want to be as you think you can be. What’s more, you are out of gas. Nothing left in the tank. Reserves depleted. Not physically necessarily, but emotionally. Your heart is faint. Overwhelmed. The fighting spirit is done. Situation assessment? Not so good. Recommended course of action? Commence prayer.
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings! Selah (Psalm 61:1-5 ESV)
Hovering over the songwriter’s song this morning. Not let in on David’s situation exactly, but you’re thinking it’s probably one of those times when he’s in the wilderness. Far from home . . . far from the throne . . . from from the house of God . . . far from God’s holy hill. One of those times when he’s tired of being on the run. When he’s about done with being in hiding. One of those times when the promises of God are ringing a bit hollow . . . the blessings of God not overly apparent. He is as far away from “feeling God” as he can be . . . like being at the end of the earth.
But with what emotional strength he still possesses, with the little bit of holy determination he is still able to muster, he cries out to heaven, “Hear me, O God, listen to my prayer.”
Pretty simple prayer really. “Lead me to the rock!” That rock which is a strong tower . . . that rock which is an inhabitable tent . . . that rock which is a sheltering refuge. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
The songwriter knows of the rock. He has been on the rock. But He needs His God to guide him to the rock . . . to transport him to the rock . . . to carry him to the rock. It’s a rock higher than he has the resources to ascend to. A rock beyond just “sucking it up” and “making it happen.” It’s a rock “higher than I.” But it is also a rock for the weary . . . a respite for the wandering . . . a refuge for the worn out.
And you don’t have to noodle very long on this before the r-o-c-k is spelled the S-a-v-i-o-r (-o-u-r for my Canadian friends).
I read of the rock higher than I and I think of the One who became lower than the angels for the suffering of death and is now crowned with glory and honor (Heb. 2:7-9). I think of the tent of eternal dwelling, and I think of all that it means to be “in Christ” . . . and of the grace that has “made us alive together with Christ” and has “raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5-6). I think of the shelter of His wings, and the respite that is promised there, and I hear Him again inviting us, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
And so you look to the Rock . . . and with what seems like a last breath, you whisper heavenward, “Lead me there, Lord. Guide my storm-tossed ship to that harbor. Let my feet again know they are standing on solid ground.” And He does. With all sufficient grace and a peace that passes understanding, even with circumstances unchanged, we are transported to higher ground. Reminded of our eternal dwelling. Comforted by His abiding shelter. Fortified against our enemies.
All because of the Rock that is higher than I. And a God who, with infinite patience and compassion, will lead us there.
To Him be all glory! Amen?