Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I

A line in Psalm 61 grabs my heart and fills me with hope.  It is found in the latter half of verse 2 and the whole of verse 3: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.”

When we are confused in life and don’t know where to go or what to do, this is what we need: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”  “When the ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at ‘the house of the dying’ in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life.  On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa.  She asked, ‘And what can I do for you?’ Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.  ‘What do you want me to pray for?’ she asked.  He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: ‘Pray that I have clarity.’  She said firmly, ‘No, I will not do that.’  When he asked her why, she said, ‘Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.’  When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, ‘I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust.  So I will pray that you trust God.’” (told by Brennan Manning in Ruthless Trust, p. 5)  In other words, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

When troubles bombard our lives, this is what we need: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”  When Dr. Tom Dooley was a medical missionary to Southeast Asia in his early thirties, he contracted cancer and died at the age of 34.  On December 1, 1960, in the depths of his battle with cancer, he wrote a letter from his hospital bed in Vietnam to the president of the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater: “Dear Father Hesburgh, They’ve got me down.  Flat on the back, with plaster, sand bags, and hot water bottles.  I’ve contrived a way of pumping the bed up a bit so that, with a long reach, I can get to my typewriter…. Two things prompt this note to you.  The first is that whenever my cancer acts up a bit, and it is certainly ‘acting up’ now, I turn inward.  Less do I think of my hospitals around the world, or of 94 doctors, fundraisers, and the like.  More do I think of one Divine Doctor and my personal fund of grace.  It has become pretty definite that the cancer has spread to the lumbar vertebra, accounting for all the back problems over the last two months.  I have monstrous phantoms; all men do.  and inside and outside the wind blows.  But when the time comes, like now, then the storm around me does not matter.  The winds within me do not matter.  Nothing human or earthly can touch me.  a peace gathers in my heart.  What seems unpossessable, I can possess.  What seems unfathomable, I can fathom.  What is unutterable, I can utter.  Because I can pray.  I can communicate.  How do people endure anything on earth if they cannot have God?”  In other words, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: