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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.

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"When My Heart Is Overwhelmed"

"Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:1,2).

Early this morning we stopped in to visit a patient who has experienced major health challenges over the past three years. He was a very strong, independent, working man when an accident occurred causing his health to take a nosedive. For one who probably took his good health for granted he has now become a very needy soul.

Our friend had been requesting a minister's visit as he told us, "I am so overwhelmed". God heard His cry for help. He has come to see his need for Christ in his life and is now reading Scripture, drawing spiritual strength from God and support from those who care deeply about him.

As I consider today's text there's no evidence that David traveled any considerable distance from where he lived. Of course travel in ancient times was very difficult and only a few traveled beyond their own relatively close geographic area.  Yet in a powerful expression of faith David declares, "From the end of the earth I will cry to You."

"When my heart is overwhelmed." We shared about our friend feeling overwhelmed regarding his major health issues. Many of you can also recall a situation in your life when your heart was overwhelmed or perhaps you are presently feeling overwhelmed by matters pressing in on you.

Although we don't know precisely what David was being overwhelmed with we surely can identify such times in our life. Another version states, "as my heart grows faint." Such emotions can leave one feeling helpless, heavy hearted, fearful and indecisive in what to do about the matter at hand.

Times like this have occurred in both our personal life and in our ministry to others. In fact due to the nature of our chaplaincy ministry together we rarely have a day of visitation when we don't encounter people who express being overwhelmed with a particular matter in their life. And quite realistically we are aware times of being overwhelmed will continue to be a part of our experience on this side of eternity.

David cried out to God, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."  In the Scriptures the rock is a common metaphor for God. The first reference to the Rock was in Jacob's blessing to Joseph when he refers to "the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel" (Genesis 49:24).  In Moses’ final sermon to the Israelites before he died he declared: "He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He" (Deuteronomy 32:4).

All throughout the Psalms the Rock is commonly used in this way to describe the power and stability we have in the Lord. One wonderful example is Psalm 18:31, "For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?"  The prophets continue the theme: "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:4). The apostle Paul describes the spiritual rock that accompanied the children of Israel, "and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4).

I'm still learning the powerful truth expressed in this statement by H.C.G. Moule. "There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot, from that situation, create something that is surpassingly good. He did it at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today."

Whenever we are overwhelmed let us make this ancient request of the Psalmist our personal plea: "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, today I cry out to You. I am so thankful that You hear me regardless of where I may be crying out from or the depth of my situation. At times my heart grows faint and I am overwhelmed, uncertain of what I should do next. I ask you to lead me to the Rock that is higher than I so that I don't have to rely on my own strength or lack thereof, but I can lean on the Rock that is stronger, wiser, and higher than I. It is in the name of Jesus that I pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Rock Of Ages"  Video  Amy Grant 

"Lead Me To The Rock"  Video  Integrity Music

"Lead Me To The Rock That Is Higher Than I"  Video   Maranatha Singers

"Psalm 61"
 Video  Matthew Ward

 Video  Paul Baloche

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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