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Lead Me to the Rock
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety.
Psalm 61 expresses the desperate prayer of one who senses a great need for God. David prays “from the ends of the earth” (61:2). Although this could mean that he was far away from home, the sense of this phrase is more than literal. It speaks of neediness, when we are far away from what is comfortable, familiar, and safe. It may also point to times when we feel far away from God, when it seems as if he isn’t near to hear our prayers.
In such times, our hearts can become overwhelmed. The Hebrew term ‘ataf, translated here as “overwhelmed,” can also mean “faint” or “weak.” There are times when circumstances batter us, when our inner reserves are drying up. We can feel as if life is just too much for us, and that we’re not going to survive.
In such times, like David, we cry out to God for mercy. Even though God might feel far away, and even though we are emotionally spent, we nevertheless call out to God to lead us to a place of safety and security. The “towering rock of safety” is a place where the floods cannot engulf us or our enemies crush us. The rock that is literally “higher than” we are signifies God’s protection and presence.
Perhaps you’re in a place like David today, feeling far away from God and overwhelmed by the challenges before you. If so, cry out to the God who will lead you to his rock of safety. If you’re not in such a place today—thanks be to God!—I’m sure you know people who are. Their hearts might even be too faint to pray, but you can do it for them.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you felt like David, far from God and completely overwhelmed? How did you pray? How did you experience God’s deliverance? What, for you, is the “towering rock of safety”?
PRAYER: O Lord, there are times when you feel so very far away, when it seems as if you aren’t even there to hear my prayers. And there are times when I am so haggard in soul that I can barely pray. Thank you for the example of David, whose desperation reminds me that I am not alone.
Thank you also for his quiet confidence in you. Help me to know that you will lead me to the towering rock of safety when I am feeling lost and exhausted.
Today I want to pray for ________. Be with them in their desperation and neediness. Reassure them. Encourage them. Lead them to the rock of your protection. Amen.
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This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org), a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.