There are times when we feel so far from God. There are also times when we feel so exhausted by life, by pressure, by health, by spiritual attack. When we experience both (both God seeming far away and great pressure), we can feel like giving up and that there is no hope.
This is David’s situation at the beginning of Psalm 61. He asks God to “hear… listen”, almost as if he feels like God isn’t answering him. Then he says (v2) “from the ends of the earth I call to you.” He is probably in the desert, far away from Jerusalem, where he worshipped the Lord. It seems like he has to call out loudly to God for the Lord to hear him because it seems like He is so far away.
He also says, “when my heart is faint”. He is exhausted, he is under pressure, he feels as if there is no hope.
Then he asks “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Use your imagination for just a minute… You are out on a hot, hot day, and you need shelter. You stand by a wall, but it is very short. So you are still in the sun, the shade does not cover you.
But then you stand by a tall wall; it is so tall that the shade covers you completely. You are now cool and refreshed and your strength returns.
That is the picture of the “rock that is higher than I”. David needed someone greater than him, to cover him, to shelter him from the burning sun in the wilderness, when God felt so far away and he was completely exhausted. So he prays, “lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
That is what you and I need. When the “sun” of pressure and discouragement or sickness is beating down on us, when we feel completely exhausted, and when we feel that we are in the wilderness and the Lord is so far away, we need Him to lead us to the Rock that is higher than I.
The Rock in Old Testament poetry is an image for the Lord Himself. He is SO much higher and SO much greater. David is basically saying, “Lord, I need You.” And that is true for us today. Whatever the pressure and discouragement is, however great the discouragement and pressure is, we need Him. We need the Lord to lead us to Himself, to shelter us in His presence, to feed us with His word, to refresh us with His Spirit and to flood us with His peace.
Pray today, “Lord, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Lead me to Yourself.” Amen