From the ends 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: 2
The first in a series of posts intended to encourage the hearts of adults who walk as lights for today’s young men and women:
I am on a plane headed to Oregon. Peering out the small window, I see nothing but a sea of dense fog- not the typical white billowy clouds that dot the landscape below, but a dense gray fog that obscures everything. Are we flying over a mountainous region? A desert? A metropolitan area? I have no idea. I can’t see.
Sometimes I feel as if I am in a spiritual fog; when the “eyes of my heart” can’t see through the fog that has surrounded my very soul. It’s usually when I allow life to overwhelm me. I really have two choices: to step up onto the “rock that is higher than I” where the fog dissipates, or to be pulled down by the cares of this world and set up camp in the mire that exists below. God grants me a free will in this choice, regardless of how evil the day is. His Word tells me how to fend off the darkness and be restored to light:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rules of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6: 10-13
Are you experiencing an evil day (or season); a time of shaking?
Is your marriage being severely tested?
Is your family life in a state of disarray?
Are your kids struggling and/or disobedient?
Is your church or school or workplace facing major trials and challenges?
Are you, or a loved one, facing major medical issues?
Are you feeling overwhelmed by life? I sense that many are right now!
I wonder why a loving God allows such times in our lives?
But in my wondering I begin to see- to perhaps comprehend His wisdom in this. Where would we be without pain? Without struggle? Without these days of evil? Are these not the very times that we thrust ourselves into the arms of Jesus? Could it be that God allows the prince of darkness to remain among us because we run from him to “the rock that is higher than I” when we face deep struggles?
It’s when I become utterly overwhelmed that I cry out to God. And I beg Him to lead me to solid ground; to “the rock that is higher than I.” When I abide anywhere else, I fail to see life from His perspective and the eyes of my heart grow dim.
Why is it that we can so easily come to see each other as the enemy when God commands that we be at peace with one another? We have no true enemy but the enemy of our soul who comes against us by trying to cut through the cords that bind us together. Satan can’t join us on the rock, but he abides below tempting us to climb down and think in his ways of disunity, discord, self pity, & anger. Satan is the great separator coming between husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister. At times we fail to acknowledge his destructive influence yet at others times we forget how completely impotent he is in the presence of Christ.
He cannot enter the shelter of the Almighty.
We can though. And we must! We enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. (Psalm 100) Amazing that when we elect to be thankful, we are ushered into His gates where Satan can’t follow. If you fear for the life of your marriage; for the well being of your children; for financial provision; if everything about you is falling apart and you find yourself “in the day of evil’– start thanking God! Thank him for your struggles that serve to grow you stronger. Praise His name! Thank you that He is able to make beauty out of ashes – when you hand Him the ashes! As you sing praises, your vision will begin to clear and the fog around you will lift; the eyes of your heart will be enlightened. Standing on the rock that is higher than I, you will see your circumstances via the eyes of Jesus and not through the blinding fog of your own self- focused ways.
Satan does not defeat us.
We defeat ourselves by opening the door of our hearts to his subtle influence – we wind up in the wrong battlefields – blaming and accusing each other rather than linking arms together against our real enemy. Step back up and stand on “the rock that is higher than I.” You vision will clear and the fog will lift and the eyes of your heart will be enlightened.
NOTE: We adults are the light bearers for today’s youth– showing them the way to Jesus. Daily however, I interact Christian adults who are overwhelmed with life – who can’t seem to find a way out of discouraging circumstances themselves- whose lights have grown dim. If that’s you, I pray that your hearts will shine again with the light of Jesus.
“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:15
“For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Next Week: A Heart that Sees