God has inserted Himself in every part of the world He created. Since I’m a visual person, I gain much understanding of God from observing His world.
As I was reading Isaiah 26 this morning I, once again, read one of my favorite passages – verses 3 and 4. The Amplified Bible reads, “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].” (Amplified Bible)
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth. But Hawaii also has one of the most dangerous and destructive forces surrounding it, the ocean. When ocean collides with rock, as in the picture, two powers meet. The surf, with its power and defiance, slams into the rock which doesn’t move.
As beautiful as the ocean is, and even with all the good it can provide, there is still much unrest, turmoil, turbulence and destruction in it.
So, as I’m looking at this picture, I’m thinking, “We can either live in the breakers of life, or on the Rock.” The surf can be brutal. In fact, this picture is from the side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu they call “Break Neck Beach.”
Likewise, we break our necks trying to fix things, attempting to survive, by clinging to a jagged edge of the Rock while trying to stay in the “stuff.” It doesn’t work…I’ve tried. As the waves beat against the rock, so we beat against a God Who wants us to be in Him, in His safety. But as long as we’re trying to do it all ourselves, we are still in the dangerous surf.
There have been times when, I am enjoying the safe clefts of my Rock of Ages…my Loving Heavenly Father, that I think I might be able to take on the waves. I don’t know if I become complacent or if I’m lured by the lies of the Evil One, that it will be safe to dangle my toes in the inviting water as it swirls beneath me. Either way, I’ve fallen back into that perilous smashing of life.
It could be that I simply lose sight of the stability and goodness of Him. Jesus warns against this when He describes the different soils in the gospels. Worries, persecution, troubles, deceitfulness of wealth, desire for other things…they all can produce the same result….chaos and destruction which come from separation from the Giver of Life.
Thankfully, I’m pulled to safety and I’m reminded that with the promise of Psalm 91:1,2, comes a responsibility of me, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!”
We love the promise of this passage, but we must remember that it is our responsibility to dwell there…to live and inhabit that place. Settling in and staying there takes work. As we dwell there, God’s power helps us to remain, but we must want to remain there.
Unfortunately, at times, other houses seem better and we want to go out and test other ground. We become restless – until we find ourselves in the swirling waters that will eventually suck us in once more, smothering us with fear, worry and anxious thoughts that destroy our peace of mind.
Or circumstances – many of which are grave and threaten to break us – steal our peace. It’s definitely a world at war, and we’re in it as a matter of life and death.
But with all this, STILL – The Rock remains…God, the Creator of the universe, our Refuge and our stability offers us peace of mind. As the passage from Isaiah says, “…whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”
He is THE Everlasting God. There is safety, protection and shelter in Him. And one thing I know….He remains steadfast and faithful.