Safe In The Storm
Tough times come to everyone. No one is exempt from the storms of life. Adversity and adversaries are always looking for an opportunity to undermine God’s purposes in the lives of His children. In this life we will face challenges. We will wrestle against disappointment and despair. We will fight the good fight of faith. Yes, there is a day coming when this world will pass away, a day when God Himself will wipe away every tear. There will no longer be any death. There will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain (Rev 21:1-4). A new day is coming. But until that day arrives we will experience the pain, hardships and trials that come with living in a sin-fallen world. Such is our experience. And such was the experience of David, the one whom the Bible calls, “a man after His (God’s) own heart.”
It’s hard to be real dogmatic when it comes to understanding David’s phrase “from the end of the earth.” Most scholars believe he was speaking specifically about the grave, that David was dealing with a very real threat to his physical life. (Many commentators believe that Psalm 61 was written during the time of David’s flight from his son, Absalom.) In this sense the phrase represents the end of his natural life. David believes he is facing the end of his earthly existence. David is convinced that unless God intervenes he will be dead very soon. And so, with one foot in the grave, David turns his attention to heaven. He calls out to the One who holds all of David’s days in His hands. David cries out to God.
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Not a bad prayer. Not at all. In the OT heights represented safety. God’s people often sought refuge within the caves and cliffs of the nearby mountains. It was nigh impossible for enemy armies to find the hidden people much less mount the treacherous terrain in order to pull them down. An elevated position was much easier to defend. It’s hard to scale a cliff face when you have rocks raining down on your head. David understood that reality very well. In his earlier years he had spent many a day hiding in caves from Saul. The heights had been David’s refuge.
And now, during his time of need David draws strength from that memory. His present situation has left him reeling. His own son, Absalom, is seeking to overthrow the kingdom. David has fled the holy city of Jerusalem in order to preserve his own life. His heart has grown faint. He feels overwhelmed by the current threat. He longs for a place of safety and security. For David the dark night of the soul has fully set in upon him. His own son seeks his throne and life. How can he possibly fight against his own child? David will not strike back. He will not seek the boy’s harm. All he can do is look to God.
In the end that’s the best thing any of us can do. Far too often we try to solve the problems of life in the weakness of our own strength and the foolishness of our own wisdom. We worry and wrestle against things we cannot change. We cry and cower in the shadows of temporal tyrants. I’m not saying you need to become a fatalist. I’m not telling you to throw your hands up and surrender to your current situation. Follow David’s example. Let God lead you to that place of intimacy where He lifts you up above all the threats and terrors of this present world. There is a place of refuge! There is a place of safety and security! There is a higher place where we can rise above the storms of life! And it’s found only in one place… the presence of the Lord God Almighty! He is our rock!!! He is that higher place!!!
David could have prayed for many things. He could have asked for divine retribution. He could have asked for justice. He could have asked for an end to the strife. But he didn’t. He simply asked for more of God. Too often we forget that all our needs are spiritual ones. The things we truly crave in this life, things like peace, joy, hope, and love, can be experienced regardless of our present problem, predicament, or pain. Why? Because God is ever present with us. He is our peace. He is our joy. He is our hope and love. All we truly need, all that we could ever truly want can be found in Him. So, the next time the storm winds begin to blow, stop trying to fight the wind. Instead, run to the rock of Jesus Christ. And therein, find safety in the storm.