Wisdom and a Rock
We had crazy wind yesterday. My rocking chairs frolicked around the porch from side to side. My door wreath landed at the neighbor’s fence, and everything hanging went flying. The birdhouse crashed. Our house, surrounded by open playing fields on both sides, always receives an intensified dose of wind. It was loud. Whistling. Banging things around. Denver, our golden retriever, took refuge under our bed.
Psalm 61 is one of my (many) favorites. Verses 2-4 read:
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Friday was a hard day. I thought for a while that Wyndham was losing his battle with MSA. I was scared. Thankfully, he rebounded and was soon back to his normal (MSA) self. It was scary, but somehow—peace-filled beyond human understanding.
Because of the rock. The one higher than I.
We used to pass this granite rock on our favorite place for prayer walks, a vista with a panoramic ocean view. This rock has held firm through many a violent storm. It always reminded us of the rock we have as our foundation for life. One that can’t be shaken. One that does not fly away in the wind. One that is a refuge. Better than under the bed.
Last week a friend came to visit. He later told me he was inspired by his visit with Wyndham and wanted to share about it in his sermon on Sunday. He then asked me what Wyndham does to maintain his relationship with God in his current situation. I thought about it and answered this:
I would say that he has built such a deep foundation that it carries the way he thinks when times are hard. He is physically weak and immobile so that everything must be done for him—but he controls his mind, thoughts, and interaction with God. He relies on God’s love, the Spirit, and trusts that God is in control and can work through weakness.
I read to him and we pray, though he only adds “amen” because he can’t really talk. Many mornings he will watch and listen to a YouTube of worship music with scenery and scriptures. (I just asked my TV for “YouTube with worship music, scenery, and Scriptures” and voila. It exists.) But mostly, the relationship is maintained because it stems from the strong foundation that has been built over the years. God and he can just sit and be. Funny, Wyndham and I can do that as well. That’s what deep relationships can do. They can be.
When Wyndham became disabled, he immediately re-read Job. Wyndham greatly values integrity. He committed to be as Job (2:9-10) and never throw away his integrity. He would say, as Job did, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
And he remains grateful. And joyful. And laughs a lot. He/we focus on the good. On the things for which we are thankful. One day at a time.
This is what it means to him to hold on to the rock. The one higher than I. God has been our refuge and will continue to be. Wyndham built his life on a rock. Wisdom builds on the foundation of the rock.
The storm helps us better understand what is truly important…and the preciousness of hope. Our spiritual selves never have to die. How amazing is that?! I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
So, if you think your daily walk with God doesn’t really matter and the little decisions you make every day don’t count—remember that you are building a foundation. That rock will hold you when the storms come. And they will come.
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears…
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me…
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
(Psalm 18:1-6, 19 30-31)