During the month of January I have been doing a bible study that is exclusively focused on the Psalms. I love this program because it isn’t about reading them straight through from 1-150. I’ve tried that approach before and it didn’t work for me.
It’s funny how the bible seems to be a book that almost actively works against being read from cover to cover (or at least it does for me). Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is a living, active document designed to speak to each person specifically. That is one of the things that I love about God. He challenges me to think in different ways and accept that I don’t always have control. I like my life to be ordered and predictable because it gives me a false sense of control. Fortunately God is kind enough to remind me on a regular basis that I’m not. It makes sense that God pushes us out of our comfort zones… otherwise how would we grow? As a parent I do exactly the same things for my children. Although it wasn’t always easy to let go and allow my kids to walk home from school alone for the first or send them on their first out of town trip without me.
But getting back to the psalms I’ve been reading. I’ve been doing this for several weeks now and I’ve noticed an idea that keeps repeating. The idea of the Lord as a Rock and every single time I read that work in these psalms it is capitalized. That means this month I learned another of God’s names…Rock.
The image of a rock that immediately comes to mind is something strong, enduring, immovable, constant. Of course the scientific part of my brain tells me that rocks can erode and some rocks are harder than others, bigger than others. But when I see that word capitalized in the Psalms it conjures up a feeling of safety, of security. And I think about how important it is for us as humans to have a rock in our lives. Maybe your rock is your spouse, or your best friend or your parent. We use rocks to build our houses, to build roads and bridges…to symbolize our love for each other.
What a powerful sense of imagery there is in the idea of making God your Rock. You can crash the storms of your life against the Rock and he will not be moved. You can turn your back on your Rock, knowing in your heart that when you are ready, He will be there, unchanged, loving you. What else in your life can you say that about?
I’m also grateful God shared another of his names with me this month. I think the number of names you know a person by is a reflection of the level of intimacy you have with a person. Some people I only know by their last name. But the closer into my circle of family and friends you get, you start to call people by their given names, or by shortened versions of their names and with the people with whom you are very close, you have nicknames and pet names, you know their middles names.
This month God is not only letting me know that he wants to be my Rock, he is telling me I can call him my Rock. And by sharing with me another of His names, He is inviting me into a more personal relationship with him. What are the ways in your life God is inviting you into a deeper, more intimate relationship?