Lead me to the rock that is higher than I

File:Meteora`s monastery 2.jpg
Meteora, Greece: ancient thin place

I was praying with the Jesus Prayer this morning:

Jesus, son of God, Savior, have mercy on me.

While I was sinking into contemplation, my attention was invaded by an old song lyric. That isn’t unheard of, but it seemed unusual. I turned my attention away from it and back to the breath of life I often experience in the Jesus Prayer. But the lyric would not go away. So I followed it:

Hear my cry, O God;
…..give heed to my prayer.
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.
For You have been a refuge for me, — Psalm 61:1-3 (NASB)

I used to sing this song on the way from San Diego to Pasadena for my last year of seminary at Fuller. I about wore out the 4-track tape. The song, based on Psalm 61, often arises when I need it the most.

I searched myself to figure out why I had been led to that old path. I did not feel like I was in danger.  I was not faint. My heart was actually full, affirmed by many voices during the Sunday meeting, among other things. So the usual uses for the song were unnecessary. So I searched the psalm again and this line caught my eye:

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

The original song is a prayer for help from the God who provides a stronghold in the face of the enemy. The Candle song is a sweet plea, full of yearning and assurance, knowing that Jesus is that refuge.

I decided the one line that caught my attention was about all the ways I had experienced “spiritual” or “good-hearted” people weighing down conversations with their immanent frame [see the end of this post] — people with no rock higher than the one they can learn, label or own. I discovered how weighed down a felt from recent experiences with:

  • Evangelicals schooled to pray right, to pray for things and to suspect relating to the Spirit who is unbound by their theology and emanating from not trapped in the Bible.
  • good-hearted poets finding spiritual experiences in nature without the Spirit, luring the unsuspecting into their salvation by aesthetics.
  • psychology researchers leading people to solve their grief by accepting ambiguity and relying on their capacity to choose something better than meaningless suffering.

I don’t think I realized just how weighed down I was under the pressure of the antiChrist movement in our polluted air. I was going with a flow that did not feel joyful. The Spirit was gently leading me toward recognition and renewed hope.

I am sure you may feel hemmed in by lies, by confidence in illusions, by outright hostility undoing love every day. I feel hemmed in by Christians with a morality of anger who are willing to kill relationships for their righteousness, both left and right. Thank God for this sweet, humble song, ancient and new, which quietly lifts up a faint heart from the end of the earth to Someone greater than their heart and larger than the understanding of humans.

There is a rock higher than than mine, a love wilder, a truth larger and a hope eternal. In Jesus we meet such love in our history and by the Spirit he is even larger, reaching to the ends of the earth and into my meditation.

About Rod White

Development Pastor for Circle of Hope, http://circleofhope.net , grandparent, church planter, peacemaker, comrade, spiritual director, psychotherapist, silence lover

2 thoughts on “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I

  1. “There is a rock higher than than mine, a love wilder, a truth larger and a hope eternal.” Such words cannot be overstated. I needed to be reminded of this today. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for this post Rod…it might be just what I needed right now. I feel particularly called to NOT kill relationships over my sense of righteousness, but the pressure is real, and for me, has been the main challenge of this year…

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