From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
Frequently I am brought back to the depth of these verses. Crises – whenever they come, however they may be – require us to become someone in a very brief time that we have never had to be before. Someone diagnosed with a serious and life-threatening disease, for example, must instantly become a more mature person. Or, someone dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one, must instantly have a strength that he had never had to possess before. He needs to find a rock that is higher than himself, than herself.
The Lord is that Rock! Crises – even crises of memory or of the sudden pain of our soul – demand that we mature. The psalmist felt the most obscure of all people as he called out to God from the “ends of the earth,” from that place of rejection and forgotten-ness. The enemy who attacked him assumed that no one would care any longer what happened to this man, and the man, David, felt almost the same.
The enemy we have, our adversary, is Satan himself – we wrestle not against flesh and blood – and his plan and ploy is to isolate God’s children, to make them feel forgotten, insignificant, rejected, weak, alone, dirty. God’s work is to lift His children up, to strengthen that which the world has long ignored and despised. He purifies us from sin, places us in His family, and promises us His faithfulness. No one should be considered insignificant who has God as his God.
Yesterday I shared with the congregation how the negative taunts of my father’s voice still tend to taint my thoughts today. I can easily slip into a negativism, and I suppose, since this happened during my formative years, that this temptation will never completely go away. I must confront it with the truth of God’s word, of His love and grace. Rather than think negatively, think graciously and hopefully about others. I need a rock that is higher than me! Higher than what my thoughts would normally be!
In the evening, to sit and pray through circumstances, to try and gain God’s perspective on matters, to forgive from the heart, to seek to hear His Spirit’s voice through the day, to consider what has been the object of my harshest and most negative thoughts that day and turn them around to thoughts of blessings and hope – this has been my help and has led me to this Rock that I could never find on my own.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Pray through everything that is unholy in your thoughts. Surrender repeatedly to God the murmurings of your soul that are impure. Let Him give a new perspective to your heart. Learn to love the simple, the plain, the forgotten, and even the unlovely and hard. Take the log from the eye of your soul that has long blocked God’s goodness and let Him help you see clearly.