Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Lord is My Rock

“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.”  Psalm 18:1-2

I've been in awe of the Grand Canyon since my parents took me there when I was nine.  I remember being afraid of falling into it, and when I took my own children there thirty years later I was a bit nervous that my nine year old son might live out that fear.  Yet the beauty of the vast rock drew me, and viewing it from the safe distance of the South Rim no longer satisfied.   A year ago, my daughter Sarah and I braved the challenge of hiking to the bottom of the canyon and back.  The trip down took almost 3 ½ hours, and my knees took a beating. The next morning my calves were so tight that I couldn't take a step down without hurting.  Thankfully there was nowhere to go but up.  The way back out was grueling, and took more than 5 hours.  At times I thought I wouldn't make it, but my lovely athletic girl coached me not to look at how much further we had to climb, but just look at the path directly ahead.  The muscle pain and fatigue (lasting several days!) was well worth the experience of meeting the physical challenge.  Now I've enjoyed the beauty of the Grand Canyon up close.

That year I was also climbing out of a deep emotional canyon, as I experienced the pain of my marriage ending.  As I struggled with the process of forgiveness, my wise counselor told me I needed to ask God to bring to mind the memories of hurt, and write them out.  He coached me to write down three things: what happened, how it made me feel, and what it taught me about myself.  I resisted this idea for some time; I knew it would be painful and I didn't want to relieve those moments.   But I also didn't want to stay in the bottom of the canyon of grief, so I reluctantly started the journey.  When I processed those memories over time I was able to identity several lies that I believed as a result of those experiences:

I am unwanted, unloved.
I have no voice, no impact.
I am not worth protecting.    
I took those lies to the truth of God’s word, and found verses that counteracted them.  Through Jeremiah 31:1 the Lord told me “I have loved you with an everlasting love”, and in Isaiah 41:9 “I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”  Other verses reminded me that I am “anointed to preach good news” (Isaiah 61), I am a strong woman because Christ strengthens me (Philippians 4:13), and my Lord “protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.” (Psalm 116:6)

These are solid truths that I can hold on to, rocks that I can stand upon.  In order to remember them, I wrote each truth on a rock, and placed them in a glass jar that I keep in my bedroom.  When I doubt my value or am discouraged about my circumstances, I can pick up a rock and read the truth about how God sees me.  He is my Rock, in whom I take refuge. 

Marsha Craig 

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