Leaning on the Rock
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD Himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:3, 4 NIV
The word “steadfast”, interpreted “stayed” in the ESV version of Isaiah 26:3, is from a term that means “to lean, to rest, to support.” Someone who is steadfast is steady because she is leaning on something that is supporting her. The person described in Isaiah 26:3, 4 experiences peace because she is leaning on the Lord, her Rock. Peace roots in her heart as she trusts Him as her Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge.
Her mind receives support from consistently leaning on the same Rock that David trusts to steady him in the dark places of betrayal. After David repeatedly declares his absolute trust in God as his salvation, he warns readers to beware of depending on anything else for safety:
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Psalm 62:8 – 10 ESV
One of my responsibilities with MARKINC Ministries is to interview people for our Help & Hope audio library. Each conversation captures my heart as participants describe how the earth shifted beneath their feet and how the Lord held them in His Grip. Right after I finished writing this series, Elizabeth Groves, author of Grief Undone, responded to one of my questions in a way that gave me a whole different perspective on what David might have meant when he declared that God is his rock. Libbie described one particularly difficult time after her husband Al's death. She said, "I felt as though I was in a raging, angry river. Thousands of gallons of water pounded against me and slammed against a huge rock. I couldn't move. Debris, rocks, branches, water, so much water pushed me harder against that rock. I felt helpless. Then I realized, God is the Rock. My circumstances are pushing me so tightly against Him that I cannot move. This is the safest place to be." Absalom's pursuit of David pushed him against the Rock, the only Rock that he cold count on for support.
Are you restless, longing for peace, but finding only more restlessness? Is it possible that you are looking for peace in the wrong places? David warns us that people will let us down and riches are fleeting. Place this warning into a contemporary setting.
Looking for peace through alcohol, over the counter pain medication, emotional and physical adultery, physical fitness, pornography, friendships, children, status, health – all of these are “lighter than breath.” None of them are permanent. David had access to everything man could want, power, riches, women, status, warriors, and kingdoms. But he found no peace in any of them. At the end of his life he offers his experiences as a gift to us. We can practice trusting God through a personal relationship to Jesus as our only salvation. Our minds can be steadfast as they lean on Him, our Rock.
How do we practice this discipline of leaning on God as our Rock? This morning I woke early, my heart was troubled. So many people I love are hurting and there is little I can do to fix their shattered hearts. This was a place to declare God as my Rock and salvation, the only One Who could bring peace to these broken people. I began to pray:
Oh Lord, on You alone my soul waits in silence; from You comes my salvation. You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Lord, I fix my mind on You as the only source of peace. I rest on You, the Rock and my salvation. You are my refuge. I refuse to be greatly shaken, hopeless in the face of these broken places. Show me how to walk a steady path and be a source of Your strength. May my confidence in You flow out to each of these loved ones.
Ironically, as I prayed these words, thoughts of actions I could take to offer help and hope to specific people came to mind. They appeared insignificant, a drop in an ocean of pain. Yet, I know the Lord, my Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge was whispering in my ear, “Trust me.”
Practice the discipline of declaring each morning, “Lord, You are my Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. Steady me as I fix my mind on You and trust You to plant deep peace in my heart no matter what today brings.”
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview “Same-Sex Attraction: An Interview With An Unlikely Convert Dr Rosaria Butterfield" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
In this interview with Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, Chuck and Sharon Betters ask these and many more questions about a topic that has numerous families struggling to understand. Dr. Butterfield is uniquely qualified to provide guidance and wisdom to those who are desperate for help and hope as they are challenged by life choices that are foreign and even scary. Listeners will be encouraged and better equipped to walk this pathway as well as come alongside of others who are struggling with same sex attraction.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.