When my husband and I went for a walk along the beach a few weeks ago, we were amazed to find that instead of the normally tranquil scene, it was an absolute mess! All the unusually heavy rain and storms this winter had whipped up, what seemed like the whole seven miles of sand from the beach and thrown it all along the promenade. The road and walkway were buried under so much sand and debris you just couldn’t see it. And in addition, there were huge piles of sand that seemed to have been scraped up and haphazardly dumped all over the place. Men in high viz jackets were at work with a JCB digger and a smaller truck, but to be honest, it all just looked like such a big mess and there didn’t seem to be any order to what they were trying to achieve.
We began to walk away from the chaos up the zigzag path that leads to the over-cliff path about thirty metres higher up. I’m not very fit, so it took effort and there was plenty of huffing and puffing. But as we climbed up and began to look down, we gained a completely different perspective.
Into my mind came the verse from Isaiah 55, ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’. The higher we went, the more clearly we could see that there was a man in charge directing the other men and machinery, and they were actually working in a very ordered fashion, progressively scraping the sand into piles along on the promenade and then back down on to the beach.
A few weeks later, we are all finding ourselves living in unprecedented days, and as a result there is much uncertainty, fear and worry. Even as Christians, looking from an earthly perspective, we can be sucked into feeling anxious and insecure. But in all that is happening on this earthly plane we are so blessed that we can go to the One who is higher than us, who has that higher perspective, who understands the things we don’t understand, who is all-powerful, faithful to all His promises, compassionate and loving towards all He has made.
Like climbing that steep path, turning to our Father in Heaven takes effort. Our own pride, rationale and the enemy may tempt us to be swept along with the many in a tide of confusion and angst, but God urges us to follow David’s example in the Psalms, to turn to Him, to cry out to Him for His answers, His breakthrough, His way forward, and to intercede for our friends and families, churches, communities and the world.
This is the one vital thing we can do which doesn’t leave us in the fear and confusion of the earthly realm, but lifts us to the higher place of true hope we have in Him and, even in the midst of these unprecedented days, into His peace which transcends all understanding. ‘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’ (Psalm 61:2-4).
Prayer: Father God, in the midst of so much earthly uncertainty and … (be honest with Him about how you feel and the things weighing on your heart) I call to You. Please lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For You are the Rock. There’s no other. You are my true place of refuge. You are my tower of strength. You are my Shelter. You are the Rock that is higher than I. I call out to You for Your answers, Your breakthrough in these unprecedented days. I put my trust afresh in You, and I take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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