A Rock that Is Higher Than I
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. If my son is struggling, I struggle. When his brother is burdened, 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? The details of his failing health overwhelmed me. Eventually my preoccupation with Daddy’s deterioration paralyzed me. I lost all ability to function.

God commands us to bear each others’ burdens. (Galatians 6:2) 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.

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

Recently I became concerned when my husband became 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 wondered, “Is it something I have done? Maybe he isn’t telling me because it is more serious than I can handle.” Quickly I sent up a prayer. But 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. As we collectively filled 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 filled our Saturdays with hikes up into the surrounding hills. We spent the week discussing next Saturday’s adventures. 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 showed 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 tall, powerful, confident, and secure. He is my rock, like a solid mountain. 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 me, 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 or my husband. He is God, the Almighty who sits on His throne. He is my goal, the direction I need to take. His is the face I need to seek in all circumstances.

Dear Lord, Forgive me for settling for less than You offer. 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:
Submit a praise report

Worship: Nearing the Heart of God by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer

A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God's Love by Max Lucado

The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio

Application Steps:
If you do not own a hymnal, consider purchasing one. The words to the old songs are rich! Listen to and read the hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."

Do I have an unhealthy dependence on someone or something that takes my focus off God?

Do I allow the things of the world to keep me from reaching the heights God has planned for my day?

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)

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

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Blogger Maggie said...

Thank you Van for this devotional. I so often base my mood on those around me. I also too often look to my husband for strength and if he is down I am down. I do need to work on "turning my eyes upon Jesus". Thanks also for the hymnal website I didn't know about that. Blessings.

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