Psalms 61:2-3 - From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
Periods of sorrow and hopelessness are timeless. Throughout history even the best of men have experienced these emotions. David, a man after God’s own heart and the author of numerous Psalms was not exempt. Even the Apostle Paul at one point despaired of his own life as persecution waxed hot. It is not ‘if’ such trouble will present itself in our lives, but ‘when’ it will appear.
The good news is that scripture provides guidance on how to navigate the inevitable pitfalls of life. David offers three nuggets of wisdom:
1. Cry unto Him.
2. He is our rock.
3. He is our shelter and high tower.
In a nutshell, when trouble comes we should run to the Lord instead of away. Human nature wants to avoid anything remotely connected to God (His people, word, and church). The world says that we can stand on our own two feet. The flesh strives to solve heart problems with alcohol, drugs, fleshly lusts, etc. All of these simply mask the true issue and serve to drive us deeper into despair. The current statistics that indicate approximately 10 percent of adults and a shocking 20 percent of teens suffer some type of prolonged depressive symptoms supports the fact that what we are generally doing is not working. I understand that mental illness is a multifaceted, complex issue, but a neglect of spiritual matters cannot be ignored.
The remedy is to recognize the rock that towers above all else, Jesus Christ. Cast your cares upon Him. Look to the one that is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast! The one who delivered the elect family of God eternally when he laid down his life on the cross is more than equipped to bless us to navigate us through periods of sorrow and helplessness in the day-to-day affairs of life.
Oh! sometimes the shadows are deep, And rough seems the path to the goal, And sorrows, sometimes how they sweep Like tempests down over the soul.
Oh! sometimes how long seems the day, And sometimes how weary my feet! But toiling in life’s dusty way, The Rock’s blessed shadow, how sweet!
Then near to the Rock let me keep If blessings or sorrows prevail, Or climbing the mountain way steep, Or walking the shadowy vale.
O then to the Rock let me fly To the Rock that is higher than I O then to the Rock let me fly To the Rock that is higher than I!
Michael D. Green, Jr.