Monday, July 21, 2014

Standing on the Rock, or Being a Rock of Faith

My grandson has collected odd rocks from the first time he toddled outside. He has always picked up rocks, not necessarily very special rocks, just any old rock. He has some sort of affinity for rocks.

I have to admit that I like rocks. When Hubby and I had a water garden business, we spent a lot of time out in the country with a winch truck, picking up beautiful and interesting rocks to build ponds, waterfalls and dry streams. We had a couple of big boulders that were special: one of them was my Valentine’s present one year, and that’s an entirely different story for another time. Some of the stones we collected moved with us to three houses, and I still have one stone outside — given to me by friends — that I will move with me to the day I die. It’s a solid symbol of friendship and warms my heart.

I have somewhere in my keepsakes a little jar of pretty polished stones that I picked up on a trip with my best friend when I was about 13 – more than 40 years ago. I can come across that jar, look at those stones and it takes me back to a foggy beach in California, and my first kiss. .. that’s another story that I won’t tell here.

I have a lantern filled with rocks and shells from a beach trip with GL and other family members a few years ago. I collected a bagful and bought the lantern to display them when I got home. I look at that lantern and remember that fun vacation.

A couple of years ago we went to Cape Cod, and I brought back a few rocks and tiny shells. Those rest on a shelf in my dining room, and one small black stone stays in my purse. When I find it as I rummage for change, it brings me warm memories.

In one of a series of mystery books I read long ago, the protagonist — the main character — once told someone about his philosophy on the length of life. He said that as he sees it, figuratively, all people on earth are standing in a river. And a person’s length and quality of life depends largely on where each person stands in that river, how firm his or her foothold, how much protection from the current or the shifting sands of the riverbed, or the debris that floats down that river. He felt that people didn’t have a lot of choice in where they landed in the river, but they could hold on, and they could always work toward better position. Some stood in the shallows, on solid ground, some were dashed up against rocks, some hid in the shelter of rocks. Maybe some stood on top of a rock. But those that didn’t make it to rock — those whose feet were on shifting sand — would be swept away by the current long before others who had found a firm place to stand.

That river illustration came strongly to me as we were singing “Cornerstone” in worship a few weeks ago: “Christ alone, Cornerstone, weak made strong in the savior’s love. Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all.”

As Christians, we have Christ’s love as our Rock. We have our faith in him that helps us stand our ground against the currents and tides of daily life, against the storms, the principalities, the powers and rulers of the darkness of this age, as it says in Ephesians 6.

Thanks to Bible Gateway ...

Ephesians 6:

The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

We are told to put on armor, but we’re also to find firm footing: a rock. And to Stand.

In hymn after hymn, we’re told to look to the rock:

Going to the Rock of my salvation, going to the stone that the builder rejected. And when my heart is overwhelmed, He leads me to the Rock.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide, myself in thee.

Jesus used rocks in his illustrations and parables:

That river story has always reminded me of one of Jesus’ parables:

Luke 6:
Build on the Rock

46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

Many of the names we have for Jesus Christ are related to rock:


Rock that the builder rejected

The Keystone.

I’m betting that almost every person in this room has at least one keepsake rock .. on a shelf, in a box, in your purse, or on your finger.

One of the most important rocks in a woman’s life is often the “rock” she receives as a token of engagement. It’s a symbol of a lifetime commitment. — a rock-solid promise!

Finally, we almost all get a rock with our final resting place too. The headstone is a vital part of the grieving process for the loved ones who are left behind. Planning it, waiting for it, seeing it set, and visiting the grave to view it .. what do we look at, the headstone.

A search of Bible Gateway brought up 135 references for Rock. I won’t list them all, don’t worry.

But a few:

In Exodus, the children of Israel received water from a rock in the desert.

Deuteronomy 32:4: “He is the Rock, His work is perfect …” other verses in that chapter mention the Rock as the Lord.

The Psalms are full of references to God as our Rock:

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:31
For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?

Psalm 18:46
The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.

Psalm 28:1
[ Rejoicing in Answered Prayer ] [ A Psalm of David. ] To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: Do not be silent to me, Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.

Psalm 89:26
He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’

Isaiah 17:10
Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, And have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold, Therefore you will plant pleasant plants And set out foreign seedlings;

Isaiah 44:8
Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’”

1 Samuel 2:2
“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

 New Testament Rock sayings:
Matthew 7:24: Build on the Rock

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Romans 9:33
As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

1 Corinthians 10:4 
... and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

1 Peter 2:8
and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

So what does the word Rock mean to you?

What does A Rock mean to you?

It might be Christ.








What does Going to the Rock mean to you?

It could also be a symbol: the sign of the fish, a dove, a cross, a halo, an angel’s wing, sunrise, a lamb.

A reference to a verse.

Whatever speaks to you.

My prayer:


You are our Rock. The one true God, name of all names, and there is no God like You. You gave Christ your son as our risen savior, The Word, the Way, the Truth, the Life. He sent the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor.

We are never alone, and we are never without a firm foundation of solid Rock to stand upon, or a cleft of Rock to hide in if need be.

Guide us each day, in every way. Make us the instrument of salvation for others. Help us to demonstrate that we have found You. Our Rock. And that in You we have faith, hope, love and salvation that gives us everlasting life.

You are our Truth, the one thing we can always count on: our Rock.

Thank You. We give You all the Praise and the Glory, in the Holy Name of Jesus.



1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! I will look at all my rocks with a little more thought and attention now. (So good to have you back on the blog by the way!)