A Rock that Is Higher
Van Walton

“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.” Psalm 61:2 (NASB)

Do you ever allow others’ dispositions to dictate your mood? I do. I believe most women allow themselves to become preoccupied when they perceive that a member of their household seems overly… well just not “with it” for some reason. If my son is struggling with his grades, I struggle. Listening to his brother describe his life’s challenges, I take on the burden. When my husband is under stress, I stress out.

I recall my dad’s long illness. Life literally came to a halt for me. How could I go about my daily routine when Daddy was suffering so? I simply could not function knowing his condition. Initially the details of his failing health overwhelmed me. Slowly sadness consumed me. Eventually my preoccupation with Daddy’s deterioration paralyzed me. I lost my ability to function.

I know God commands us to bear each others’ burdens. The problem with me is that I don’t stop at “bear.” I carry my concerns to extremes. I feel like a traitor if I ignore difficult issues being faced by the ones I love. I feel I need to be in mourning, wearing black, dragging myself and everyone around me into my grieving experience.

Misery loves company, right? However, God’s Word commands us to rejoice in all things! Where’s the balance?

Recently I caught my husband being overly pensive. It concerned me. That Sunday morning he remained extraordinarily quiet. I tried to justify his silence - He has been coughing. Maybe he’s getting sick. Yet he assured me all was well. On the way to church I sensed tenseness in the air between us. I wondered, Is it something I have done? I thought, Maybe he isn’t telling me because it is way more serious than I can handle. Quickly I sent up a prayer. But I have to admit that when we parked the car, I parked my thoughts on worry. In church he leaned forward and placed his head in his hands. My upward climb toward a meaningful worship experience came to a halt.

With a momentous note the piano brought the congregation to life, while the worship director motioned for us to all stand. In one accord the congregation collectively pierced the room with a song of praise. I looked up to my husband, seeking assurance that all was well. Before my eyes found his face, God interrupted my contemplations by reminding me of a childhood experience.

The children in my neighborhood would hike up into the surrounding hills. We’d spend the week discussing last Saturday’s hike. While making plans to explore mountain tops and peaks, we challenged ourselves to higher goals and longer hikes. Each Saturday morning we pointed out a spot far in the distance and made that our destination. Inevitably, when we arrived at our spot, we agreed to move higher. There was always a place ahead, higher still.

God reminded me that Sunday morning as I looked up at my tall husband for strength, assurance, and comfort, that I had not focused on a high enough place. My husband is powerful, confident, and secure, but I place too many expectations on him! When he exhibits signs of instability, I lose my footing! I know this is not my heavenly Father’s plan.

With sounds of worship all around, God grabbed my attention. I heard Him say, “Don’t stop here. There is a place that is higher…” With a deep sense of comfort, I joined the congregation with songs of praise for the One who is higher than I. He is God, the Almighty who sits on His throne. He is the one who has compassion on my worldly circumstances, understands my moody moments, and is able to take control of my confusions. He is my goal, the direction I need to take, and the face I need to seek.

Dear Lord, I am guilty of allowing the things of earth, my family, preoccupations, challenges, and struggles to get in the way of my climb to the ultimate high. You are the place I want to go. Keep me moving until I reach You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

From the Pound to the Palace by Van Walton

A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

Application Steps:
If you do not own a hymnal, consider getting one. The words to the old songs are as rich as their music. Find in your hymnal “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and sing it.

Reflections:
Do I have an unhealthy dependence that takes my focus off God? Create a list of your dependencies.

What steps can I take to keep myself focused on Jesus?

Power Verses:
Psalm 3:4, “I was crying to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain.” (NASB)

Hebrews 12:1-2 a, “…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…” (NLT)

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Jeanne in CT said...

This is such a timely message for me. For the last year my life has seemingly been on hold. Since my dad's surgery and subsequent stroke, my son's wedding and selling our home business,I began a new job which took all of my available energy. Unfortunately my extra activities have gone by the wayside...Bible study, Toastmasters meetings, my writing and even my dream of speaking.

I have taken this message to heart and brought it to the feet of my Savior to hear what His heart has to say to me. Sometimes I wish there were a neon sign that said, "Jeanne, this is what you should do."
But, it is never that simple.

My teaching assistant job is finished for the summer. I need to really seek the Lord's wisdom and to please Him above all the other pressures.

Jeanne

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do you ever allow others’ dispositions to dictate your mood?" Yes, sometimes I fear or worry I will drown whenever I focused on the wide, deep blue ocean and it is because I do not know how to swim, but I remember that He gave me His life (jacket) and I do not have to swim and that I can walk on water, because He told me I can, when my eyes are focused on Jesus. Thanks for "A Rock that Is Higher"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!

Carrie

Anonymous Mom said...

I just got off the phone with my teenage boy and feeling anxious about the conversation I turned to read this "rock is higher". Thank you. I was able to just calm down seek God for HIS wisdom on how to handle this boy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Van, for your courageous honesty and vulnerability. You went right to the heart of one of my biggest obstacles to peace, but it was so much more affective because you took ownership of it. Advice has so much more power when the giver speaks from a place of humble experience. Bless you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was very helpful to me today. It made me realize that in trying to help my friend, I am actually getting in the way of God's work in her life because I am going beyond "bearing one another's burdens" to ennabling.

Thanks.

Thank you for allowing P 31 Ministires to be your Daily Encouragement and for your positive comments. Your kindness spurs me on to write for God's glory.Your sweet sharing reminds me I do not struggle alone! May my weaknesses be His strength in me. I am reminded of our O.T. forefathers who struggled just as we do, except they trusted in chariots and horses. Read all about it: In Psalm 20:7
"Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,but we boast in the name of the Lord our God."
(NLT)

"See those people polishing their chariots, and those others grooming their horses? But we're making garlands for God our God. The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame— and we'll be on our feet, standing tall." (MSG)

climbing to the Rock
that is higher than I,
Van

Anonymous Shantal said...

Sitting here and going through some difficulties as a young wife i read "A Rock that is higher and tears began to fill my heart and spirit as it is the very same situation that i am facing.
Thank you for sharing this with me.It really made a difference to me.
God bless

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