Lead Me to the Rock

Look carefully and you will see the picture of a mountain goat that I took recently up in the great Rocky Mountains.   I was once again in awe of how an animal could get himself into such a position.  I went to the rocks above him, and with Pastor Walter’s assistance, carefully glanced over where he lay on the small precipice, noticeably unconcerned that he was so high up and there wasn’t that much room.ram

It reminded me of Psalms 61:2, which states, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:  lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

As I sat reflecting on how awesome God is, and how when I’m distressed He is able to lift me above life’s circumstance, I had an epiphany of an entirely new kind.  I thought, if God put me on a rock such as the one upon which this goat sat, I would never be able to get down by myself.  It would be impossible without the help of something or someone.  At a minimum I would need rappelling equipment, but then I would need someone to show me how to use it, too.  I began to think how often the Lord has gotten me out of sticky situations, and then carefully lowered me back to where I needed to be.  Then it struck me:  we were never meant to be self-sufficient creatures.

So many times as Christians we desire God to take us out of the mess and then trust our own timing and judgement on when we are supposed to reenter the fray.  It’s in those times that we fall.  It may be a short distance, which results in a few aches and bruises, but it may be a long drop down, which causes us to break our spiritual bones and require even more loving care than we would have if we would just have waited on the Lord.

Dear One, if you are going to trust the Lord to put you in a high, safe place when you’re going through it, oughtn’t you to trust His timing for when it’s safe to get down?  After all, He placed you there.  Sometimes it seems that if you even try to turn around on the rock, you’ll fall to your death, but He knows exactly where you are.  Choose to be like the mountain goat and rest there.  Don’t concern yourself with what’s above or what’s below.  God has you in the cleft of the rock, and in due season, He’ll transition you to where you should be.

 

In Terror, Choose Love

In recent days there have been multiple terror attacks across the world.  Some here at home, particularly in Orlando and Paris, have been gruesome.  So what is the church’s response to this violence?

First of all, we must recognize that we will never have all the answers.  God does; we do not.  It is our questioning that brings us to the feet of Jesus.  In our weakness, He is our strength.  It’s alright to be confused, wondering why this has happened.  We just have to know Jesus is our answer, and having the knowledge that He understands what we are going through gives us peace in the midst of the storm.

Secondly, we must respond in love.  Christ said that we would be known by our love.  We mourn with those who mourn; weep with those who weep.  We don’t judge; we don’t assume;  we don’t criticize.  Rather, we love, we serve, we donate blood.  We know exactly what Christ would do in this situation.  His every action would be motivated by His love.

Terror is never combated with hate, only with love.  It is always wise to operate in the opposite spirit than that which has been presented. This doesn’t mean that we have to agree with the beliefs or worldviews of others, it simply means we are to walk in love.  As Paul said so eloquently in I Corinthians 13, “Without love I am nothing.”

If our lives are to count, we must choose to walk in love.  Love does not equal tolerance of sin, whether acts of terror or lifestyle choices. Love is the person of Jesus reflected in our everyday choices in how we respond to others.

Choose love!