Does the earth beneath your feet feel a bit like it’s constantly shifting?
You are essential. You are not essential. Support local business! Why are you risking everyone’s life by going to the store?! All we’re asking you to do is stay home and relax. Why aren’t you picking up the slack for those who are at-risk? We’re headed for the next Great Depression! This is the wake-up call our society needed. Wear a mask. Masks give a false sense of security. More people than ever are unemployed; the food supply chain is crumbling. Why are you concerned about the economy when people are dying?
Here I raise my Ebenezer.
Some days I feel like I shouldn’t be leaving my house, and other days, I’m berating myself: What’s your problem? Why aren’t you getting more work done?
My husband was laid off toward the beginning of the stay-at-home order. He’s a chef, and the whole hospitality industry has been decimated by the pandemic, so the job market moving forward looks bleak. On the other hand, no one in my family has gotten sick, so I keep telling myself I should be grateful.
I feel a bit like a wave of the sea tossed by the wind. Maybe you can relate.
But, here with you, today, I am making a commitment: I am taking off my shoes and standing on holy ground. I am standing on the Rock. That doesn't mean I won't be buffeted again, but I'm hoping this blog post will serve as the reminder that pulls me - and perhaps you - back to solid ground. We do not live as those who have no hope.
God Is Our Rock.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:2
“Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.” – Psalm 144:1
The Psalms refer to God as our rock 24 times. I’m guessing that’s because they were shaken like we are. It’s part of the human condition. David fought wild animals. He was hunted by King Saul, betrayed by his own son. He fought fierce armies.
Sometimes when I read the Psalms I have trouble relating. No one hates me; no one is trying to kill me. But we do have enemies, and we do fight. We fight against our own minds, against the lies of the enemy, against fear, against the coronavirus. And the best place – the only place – to fight is from firm, solid, holy ground.
Let it be known that in 2020 when the world was going crazy around us, we were standing on the Rock.
Scripture gives at least three ways in which the picture of God as Rock is a comfort to us.
#1: God is our refuge, our protection, our strong tower.
In ancient times, cliffs and rock formations were natural defenses against enemies. Stone walls were built around castles as another layer of security. God will hide us from the enemy.
While I might feel tossed by the waves, he is the Rock which can be constantly buffeted and remain unmoved.
“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress,” Psalm 71:3.
#2: God is immutable.
While the voices around us may seem to be shouting complete contradictions, God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is in control. He loves us. Our problems are not too big for him. Coronavirus, the economy are not too big for him. His is the voice we can trust.
“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal,” Isaiah 26:4.
#3: God is a solid foundation for your life.
He will not give way. You can stake your entire life on him. The economy, your career, mine…these may take a serious hit. There are so many unknowns at this moment in time. We have been reminded again and again that we are not in control. While all the building blocks of our lives may come tumbling down, the Base, the Foundation, Jesus as the Cornerstone, will not fail.
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit" - Ephesians 2:19-22.
Will you put your feet here with mine in this solid place?
I am prone to wander, to forget, to despair. Physical reminders help me to remember my commitments. Here are a few rock-related reminders, but feel free to add your own.
1) Collect some rocks. Make a pile like the Israelites did when they crossed the Jordan. Maybe each rock represents something for which you are grateful or some way in which God has revealed himself to you during this time. You could start with one rock and add more each time you recognize God’s hand in your life. If you’re looking for something artsy, you could paint your rocks with reminders or with characteristics of God.
2) Sing. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing includes this line: “Here I raise my Ebenezer. Hither by Thy help I’m come.” The lyric is based on a story from 1 Samuel where the Israelites had been delivered from the Philistines, and Samuel set up an Ebenezer – “stone of help” – as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
Rock of Ages is often thought of as a funeral song, but it’s a beautiful song of comfort at any time.
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee…
Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
3) Find a big rock. Take off your shoes and stand on it. Pray there with the full recognition that God is your solid foundation.
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