When our world is rocked, a door is opened for us to see that the world is not our Rock.
We use the word “rock” in a variety of ways, from a musical style to a celebrity who calls himself “The Rock” to literal rocks. Often we employ the idea of a rock to convey stability and strength, such as in the phrase “he was a rock” or “like the Rock of Gibraltar.” On a couple of occasions I have climbed a very impressive rock, Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia.
Everyone longs for, needs, a source of strength, a stabilizing influence in life. From what I’ve heard one of the terrifying aspects of an earthquake is the experience of profound instability—the very ground itself, upon which we stand and walk, which literally gives us our footing, is no longer reliable. The fact that it is quaking unnerves people psychologically and is a threat to life and limb.
Sometimes our world is rocked. Tragedies, personal and international, natural and manmade, rock us to the core. The loss of a loved one. A devastating hurricane. War. A disabling illness. Divorce. What we assumed was safe and secure is no longer. What we leaned on evaporated.
At times like this the true nature of our world is revealed. Weak. Unreliable. Transient. It, despite all appearances to the contrary, is not the rock to stand on, it does not give secure and stable footing for life.
In writing to Christians in what is present day Greece, a nation that has recently been severely rocked economically, the Apostle Paul spoke of the “present crisis” they were experiencing (1 Corinthians 7.26). Their world was being rocked, too, perhaps by famine. He used that occasion to teach them, and us, that “this world in its present form is passing away” and to challenge us not to be engrossed in the things of the world (verse 31).
The things of this world, even good things, are temporal. Why, then, would we want to put the full weight of our trust upon them? Rather, God exhorts us is to live “in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7.35). He is the Rock.
Where is the footing for your soul? What is your rock?
King David puts it well in Psalm 18:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (verse 2)
“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (verses 31-32)
“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!” (verse 46)