jueves, 22 de enero de 2015

The Rock at your lowest

I participated in the 2015 MAI Devotional Writing Contest, and you can read my first entry here

The devotional below didn't make the cut because as I was writing it, I checked the rules again and realized that the stories had to include the writing life. I'm posting it here in case it can speak into your life.

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Photo: Christophe Libert
"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I," cried David (Psalm 61:2). As a warrior he knew boulders as places of refuge, a respite from the heat, a possible source of water, a vantage point to see far into the distance. We immediately sense the connection as Christians seeking God's protection, and so we still sing David's prayer today. But as sublime as the high rock is, I've also come to realize that I can't live without the low one.

During my first pregnancy, my husband and I were experts in theory. As eager new parents, we studied manuals, scoured parenting newsletters and blithely failed to assimilate the possibility of anything going wrong.

Our naiveté was dashed some months after delivery when we blinked at the black-and-white images of our daughter's unwhole brain, diagnosed with spastic hemiplegia. Doctors gave us the possible worst case scenario in response to our questions.

As in distressing moments in the past, I didn't feel angry or question God. I cried, but they were numb tears, shocked tears. One night, though, I felt like I was plunging into a fathomless well.

Over my sobbing I heard God's gentle "Where are you?"

I replied in cliché: "I've hit rock bottom."

He didn't argue with me. "At the bottom," he echoed, "you're on a rock. You can't go farther than the rock."

Even as I visualized myself face-planted in the lowest pit, I suddenly realized that the rock wasn't cold and slimy; it was warm, solid and larger than me, larger than life.

"You can't fall lower than the rock."

Scripture says that Jesus was the rock addressed in the Old Testament, a living stone (1 Peter 2.4-7). As precious as this stone was, it was rejected, and Jesus descended to the depths of our pain and misery when he died on the cross, bearing our sin. Peter quotes an unforgettable line from Isaiah about anyone trusting Christ: "he will never be put to shame."

That night as I embraced the living, scarred foundation stone of Jesus, I realized that I could never fall beyond his security. The one who had suffered beyond imagination and conquered death would not let me down.

Do we know that this Rock is holding us at our lowest?

Lord Jesus, you are my Rock in the heights when I'm in danger or in the depths when I'm crushed. Let this be engraved in my heart: you never disappoint.

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