“…be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” (Psalm 31 2b-3 NIV)
This is the Psalm I read this morning. I wondered what rocks and fortresses have to do with leading and guiding. Then an image came to me of a large rock, big enough to serve as a fortress, sticking out from the terrain around it.
Even if you are in unfamiliar territory, as long as you can see the rock, you know the way to safety. The rock acts as a landmark. You need only to go in the direction of the rock to be sure you are on the right path. If the trail deviates, or obstacles block the way, you can re-orient yourself towards the rock once you have passed the obstacle.
On occasion, my husband and I have visited a shopping mall that is unfamiliar to us. My sense of direction is terrible and I am always afraid that I will get lost and won’t be able to find the way back to the car. What works for me is to spot a memorable shop where we emerge from the parking area. Then when we are in the midst of side passages and different floor levels, we can follow signboards to the shop we noted or even ask for directions.
In the same way, if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we can see the way to safety and shelter. Sometimes obstacles do come along and obscure our view and we might find ourselves heading in the wrong direction. When that happens, we need to get a clear view of our Rock as soon as possible, even if it means following signposts or asking for help. Paul says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross… Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrew 12:2-3 selected verses NIV)
Lord Jesus, I have a fear of getting lost. Please help me to have a clear view of You, even when obstacles impede my progress and distractions fog my view. Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Amen.