Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. Psalm 61:1-3
|Before Josh and I started hiking|
A couple of summers ago, Josh and I went to Paris Mountain State Park, about an hour’s drive northeast of our home, to hike. We’d been once before and hiked an intermediate trail. This time, we decided to hike the longest, most difficult trail in the park. Ha! I’m not sure what got into me that day. J It was 3.6 miles and rated 9 out of 10 in difficulty.
|Along the trail|
Three-plus hours later, tired, achy, and sweaty, we trudged back to the Park Center where we’d begun. We’d climbed as much as hiked, or so it seemed. There were many rocks higher than us. And large, intertwined tree roots. And fairly wide streams we had to cross on “natural” bridges or boulders. It was a fun day etched in our memories. I often remark to Josh that we need to return to Paris Mountain and see if we could hike it again. I’m sure he could. Me? Not so much so.
|Hiking up the trail|
One of the things I love most about the Psalms is the descriptive nature of David’s prose. If we knew nothing about David being a shepherd boy or hiding out in caves, we could surmise his outdoor nature from the pictures he painted with his words. You might recognize the above verse from which I’ve had a portion posted on my blog since its inception. I love the concept of being led to “the rock that is higher than I.”
Before Jesus came to earth to die as a sacrifice for our sins, the concept of entering into God’s presence cleansed from sin was very much like trying to climb to a rock higher than could be humanly attained. David cried out to God many, many times as recorded in the Psalms, but he still had to go through Judaic rituals to be cleansed.
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:16-18
|Near the mountaintop|
Isn’t that wonderful news? Let us not become jaded and take for granted the assurance of forgiveness. Although God offers it freely through His grace, a huge price was paid so we may enter into His presence cleansed from sin. Can you imagine what it was like in King David’s time not to have immediate access to that cleansing? What an amazing sacrifice Christ made for us!
Are you going through a trial right now? One seemingly insurmountable? Cling to that Higher Rock. Cling to His promise of help through temptation. Cling to the righteousness only Christ can offer you through His sacrifice. Cling to His unselfish love poured out to save you. God’s comfort and grace will see you through.
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day
by John Mark Hall;Michael Jr Bleecker
A Christian lady and her son in the Philippines face a financial crisis jeopardizing his place in college as a nursing student, if they can’t raise school fees before his finals. Please pray that God will provide means for this young man to continue his studies and take his finals.
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©Laura Hodges Poole