A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, October 11, 2019
Elephant Rock at Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada
"Lead Me To The Rock"
Message summary: Whenever our heart is overwhelmed let us make this ancient request of the Psalmist our personal plea: "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"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).
Yesterday we made chaplain visits passing through the beautiful Lancaster County farmside. It's harvest time but still very green with ample top soil covering most everything that man hasn't developed. We mostly pass farms and farm fields with trees. We rarely see rocks unless they're decorative or used as a border.
That's quite a contrast to the scenery on our trip out west which was mostly to a region that wasn't very green at all except where man has intervened. Las Vegas to Death Valley then back and into Arizona was all desert. There is a beautiful green area with lots of trees around Flagstaff and Sedona up to the Grand Canyon but then the rest of our trip through northern Arizona, Utah and back into Nevada was through the high desert.
One thing we saw a lot of were rocks with many of the mountains seeming like one big rock. So today let us consider a petition from the Psalmist, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
Many of you can recall a situation in your life when your heart was overwhelmed or perhaps you are presently feeling overwhelmed by a matter pressing in on you.
The state of the country and world conditions has a lot of people overwhelmed. We don't think we are the only ones who say, "Has it really come to this??"
We may be overwhelmed at the rate of social decay, as we navigate through life, seeking to stay faithful to God and His Word through an ever-changing culture, one where we are confronted with once unheard of laws and policies. It seems like mankind's rebellion against God is growing at a fevered pitch and we are experiencing the inevitable consequences.
Today let us receive a word of assurance from an ancient Psalm written some 3,000 years ago:
"Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer."
"From the end of the earth I will cry to You." 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 tiny 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." Although we don't know precisely what David was being overwhelmed with we surely can identify. Another version states, "as my heart grows faint". Such emotions can leave us feeling helpless, heavy-hearted, fearful and indecisive in what to do about the matter at hand whether it's a personal matter or the state of affairs in our world.
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 times of feeling overwhelmed will continue to be part of our experience on this side of eternity.
"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." This is David's specific petition when he was overwhelmed and is a fitting petition for followers of God in each generation.
In the Scriptures the rock is a common metaphor for God. The first reference to the Rock in this sense 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).
At her son Samuel's dedication Hannah prayed, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God" (2 Samuel 2:2).
All throughout the Psalms the Rock is commonly used 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).
Upon Peter's confession of faith Christ stated, "Upon this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). The apostle Paul describes the spiritual rock that accompanied the children of Israel, "and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). Peter wrote, "Come to Christ, who is the living Foundation of Rock upon which God builds" (1 Peter 2:4).
For many years I have appreciated a powerful truth expressed in this statement by Handley Carr Glyn Moule, a theologian who lived from 1841-1920: "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 our heart is 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
Daily prayer: Lord today, like the Psalmist, I cry out to You. Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. I join all who call out to you from the ends of the earth. I am so thankful that You hear me regardless of where I may be crying out from or what situation I may be crying over. At times my heart does grow faint and I am overwhelmed. I ask you to lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Help me to rest today in the assurance that on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Amen.
Snow Canyon and Valley Of Fire State Parks
Our last full day in the west we traveled back from Saint George, Utah to Las Vegas for our flight back home last Tuesday. We visited two state parks that we previously had never heard of but in our view rivaled the much better-known national parks.
We hiked into a closed slot canyon at Snow Canyon State Park near Saint George Utah
This was not a selfie, as you probably guessed!
Scenic Virgin River Gorge on I-15 in the northwest corner of Arizona Video tour
This just may be the prettiest section of interstate we've ever been on!
These big horn sheep in Valley Of Fire State Park came up within two to three feet of our car. They were fearless with good reason since they see thousands of cars, trucks, RV's, motorcycles - you name it. They're accustomed to the motor sounds and people snapping photos of them. We were somewhat disappointed we didn't see more wildlife during our trip.
Our final long nature hike was at the White Domes trail at Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada
White Domes slot canyon at Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Lead Me To The Rock" Video Maranatha! Praise Band
"The Solid Rock" Video The Hymns Project
You never know what you will see in rural Lancaster County.
You can see how Brooksyne takes photos on the fly!
Approaching New Holland, PA this calf had some fancy transport.
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