This week’s Thought is written by Peter Hodson.
From the ends of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Do you find that difficult circumstances can often seem quite overwhelming? They can loom up before us as great rocks of difficulty.
I can only try to imagine what it must be like to spend any length of time in an arid desert having run out of supplies of water and rocks looming up as though to mock our quest for something to drink.
The Israelites were in such a position – but tragically, they complained against Moses and against God, who had already performed such wonders and miracles before them! He was not about to let them perish with thirst!
At the Lord’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded.
Yet God showed his compassion and he said to Moses:
... I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink. (Exodus 17:1, 2 & 6)
Archaeological research has revealed a rock some 15 metres high, located very likely in the vicinity of the biblical account. This rock is split through the middle and displays the pattern of water erosion and evidence that numerous streams came forth in several directions.
There is also evidence of the presence of what would have been a great lake in the area. When Moses struck the rock, it was not just a trickle of water, it was great ‘gushings’ to form a lake that could well quench the thirst of some 2 million people plus their livestock! Out of the very rock of difficulty, came a fountain of waters, rivers of blessing!
He turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters. (Psalm 114:8)
It is not just that God will rescue us out of difficulties – and He often will – but that through our toughest difficulties He will bring the greatest blessings! And so often the blessing will be a changed heart through which Christ can pour his richest blessings to those around us.
So if we’re tempted to bemoan our circumstances, let's lift our eyes on the Rock that is higher than us, the Rock who was struck and from whom gushed rivers of blessing to us all. If we feel we’re being ‘struck’ by life’s circumstances, let's look for His blessing to flow out to needy folk around.
No, despite all these things,
overwhelming victory is ours through Christ,
who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
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