“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”
One of my great joys in life is rock climbing. Saying this, I know some of you will think I’m crazy for this. Whenever I tell someone about my vertical hobby, they often respond with some kind of comment about how they feel about heights. Don’t misunderstand me, I too am not a fan of heights. Here’s the catch: when I go climbing, I use a rope. (I know…brilliant, right?) I have climbed enough to have developed an innate trust in the rope’s ability to be more than ample to hold me if I happen to fall. Because of this, I’m able to climb with confidence high off the ground, knowing that it’s not all on my own strength or ability to prevent my quick descent to the ground. I have a rope that will catch me.
Living in the west, we rarely reach a point of true desperation—a point of need where if God does not step in, we will truly experience legitimate loss. Our needs are often much less significant than the literal request for our daily bread. Most of us have kitchens filled with food, closets with plenty of clothes to wear, and homes filled with excess. In addition, we have skills and knowledge to help us work our way out of our problems, and networks of friends or family we could reach out to for help in times of need.
However, many people in our world do not have this luxury. I once heard a missionary friend of mine from India describe this contrast as “need” versus “great need”. He lives in an environment where great need is a part of daily life, and the prayers of the people reflect that. However, the beauty of this is that it creates an environment where the Lord steps in to provide for their great needs, and in turn strengthens the faith of those asking Him to provide.
As I said, we rarely operate in this space in our lives in the west. However, what the Lord has been showing me recently is the value of operating in this place of great need, or desperation. Often, we put our faith in our own ability to climb out of a situation, instead of fully believing and relying on God to show up and prevent us from falling to our destruction.
Seasons of desperation in our lives are extremely difficult. However, they reveal where our trust truly lies and forces us to confront the question, “how much do I really trust the Lord?” Perhaps the Lord is pulling back those safety nets we have created to deepen our understanding of how much He cares for us, and how He is able to sustain us through difficulties. I want to live my life out of an understanding of how big God is, paired with the understanding that He cares deeply about the needs, and the great needs in our lives. I want to live my life where I can climb towards the things the Lord has called me to with confidence, knowing that I have Him holding me secure. In my life, I want the Lord to be my rock, my fortress, my savior, and my rope.