I was thinking about rocks. I collect them. There is something special about being able to have a chunk of creation that has withstood so much. Weather, earthquakes, floods, erosion.
My rocks vary in size and color, but honestly I can tell almost immediately WHERE the rocks were when I found them. I have these odd, old, little glass bowls and dishes that I buy at “antique” stores somewhere near the spot where I collected the rocks and then I display them. Somehow the combination of FINDING the rocks and BUYING the dishes help me keep things sorted out. (At least, that is what I tell myself.)
I must confess that on our last trip to visit my husband’s family in Alaska I returned with an ENTIRE SUITCASE FULL OF ROCKS. It weighed a lot. BUT I have treasures from Nome, Anchorage and outlying areas including some glaciers that we visited, so…I know, don’t judge me too harshly.
But of all the places we have been, I confess that the Grand Canyon amazed me. I did not return with a single rock. What I did return with was over 1500 photographs of rocks.
I had never been to visit that amazing wonder of the world until about 5 years ago. Somehow, my travels never really allowed me to get to that part of the United States.
The beauty of the formations is the result of damage. Wind. Rain. Floods. Glaciers. Fires. The canyons are not perfect. In fact, most areas are severely restricted so that we humans can’t mess them up any further than the elements and time have done.
During our visit, we came across scientists working with photographers who were chronicling the ongoing effects of our atmosphere on the formations. Somehow, they can translate the erosion into a scientific calculation to show how quickly or how slowly the decay is occurring. That was interesting. And mildly annoying because the photographers had the best views. But I digress…
In most areas, there were fences or signs indicated how far we could or could not go. Ostensibly for our safety, but also to preserve the grounds. Had we climbed beyond the safety point, I am certain we would have fallen because the ground was not sure. It was a rocky place, but have you ever tried to walk on rocks? They roll and shift and…and people like me fall down. I can feel the pain.
And yet, throughout the scriptures, we read of God being likened to a “rock.” Rocks symbolize strength. They can be a great source of safety if you fall over the edge…
They provide shelter, as the caves did for David as he fled from Saul. But like so many other analogies, they pale in comparison to the absolute strength and refuge that we have in God. He alone cannot be harmed by weather or time or man. Jesus passed through the fire of bearing our sin and going into death, only to become the ultimate victor of sin and death and hell. (I Corinthians 15)
When it all comes down to the ultimate safety…I trust in that Rock that is higher than I am, stronger and more sure than all the rocky places we seem to trust. Who do you trust?
61 Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
18 “I love You, O Lord, my strength.”
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.
62 My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
5 My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
8 Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.