The Rock that is Higher than I
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.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Psalm 61:1-5 (NIV)
Psalm 61 is the daily lectionary psalm several days this week. Usually v. 4b -to “take refuge in the shelter your wings,” is the phrase that catches my imagine. The psalm is a beautiful prayer. Most of us have many days when crying out to God, recalling how he has been our help in ages past, “a refuge and a strong tower against the foe,” offers comfort and confidence. Today, however, David’s petition, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” is the verse that I hold in my heart. Likely for David, “the rock higher that I” was a place of protection, out of the reach of enemies as well as a vantage point for good perspective. When I first became a District Superintendent, I recall Bishop Jung often said to my colleagues and me, “Take the balcony view.” This is indeed good advice. I think of being led to the rock higher than I. On days when I am overwhelmed with the minutia of work or life, asking for the greater perspective is protection, especially when the perspective is steeped in faith. In fact, the courage to take the risks needed to live and love and serve and build beloved community comes from an openness to ask for God’s help and take refuge in God.
Lord, you hear my cry when the rest of the world is deaf to my pain.
Lord, you offer me protection, perspective and strength. Let me use these gifts from you to faithfully live, love and serve you this day. Amen.