Like a Rock

Images of God: Rock

Today’s scripture: Psalm 18:2 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

The Lord as our rock, protector, and deliverer — of all of the images of God we see in scripture, perhaps this is the most comforting. God as a never changing solid entity that not only supports us and protects us, but saves us as well.

A few days ago I was traveling a stretch of Interstate 65 north of 38th Street, before the Lafayette Road exit. I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful fall colors on the trees. I travel this route daily and am usually so caught up in my own little drama that I fail to notice the vibrant reds and yellows of the changing leaves.

On this day I slowed to notice and as I did I also noticed a small cross that someone had placed at the base of this huge tree. Apparently there was an accident at this spot and a life had been taken. The tree, however, stood strong and tall as I am sure it has stood in that very spot for decades. I thought back to the many times my mother and father must have taken this route on our numerous Saturday outings to Lafayette Square Mall. That was at least 35 years ago.

I wondered if that very tree occupied that same spot even then. Knowing what little I do about the age of trees as it relates to their size I could only surmise that indeed that tree stood strong and tall in that very same spot as the Ferguson family headed out to do the household shopping so long ago. In that time thousands of people have traveled this stretch of highway, businesses have come and gone, seasons have changed time and time again yet this tree had solidly stood that very ground. Even as grieving family and friends fashioned a cross and laid it on the spot where a loved one perished; the tree stood as a monument to continuing life.

It seems that life takes on a speed of its own. In the blink of an eye our babies are walking and talking. Age seems to creep up on us like an unexpected visitor. We find ourselves asking where the time has gone. Life seems to move at break neck speed, but just as that tree stands faithful watch, God stands over creation.

God is our rock! Regardless of what life throws in our direction and no matter how hectic our circumstance God is never changing. God is able to withstand all manner of storms, change of season, growth, and destruction. In times of distress, grieving, illness, sadness, and disappointment God is our comforter and protector.

I was sharing with a close friend last week that lately I haven’t been able to give God my all. Exhausted from running here and there, doing all of the things that I thought God wanted me to do, I found myself spent, drained emotionally and physically. I finally took some time to look up and ask God, Have I been doing your will? To which I received silence.

I had no more to give. So I asked God to carry me. I can’t make it today God unless you hold me up. I have nothing to add to this relationship. I am ashamed and sorry and I am asking for forgiveness, but I have nothing to give but praise.

As I languished from day to day just barely doing the minimum requirements God carried me from one task to the next nourishing me along the way. My rock would send angels and protectors to keep me and reassure me. One day I looked around and I was standing on my own two feet, making it on my own because God had kept me.

When the world gives you nothing to hold on to, know that God is there. Never changing, consistent, strong, and mighty God is our rock, protector, and deliverer!

Thought for the day: I need something — Someone — solid and permanent to be my foundation.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: JMCC’s new SUN Groups, for kids of GLBT parents. May they be an empowering, life-giving experience for the children in the groups.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.