“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2)
Where do you go when you are in need of safety?
There is a general principle that safety is found in seeking higher ground. High ground affords the best view of the surrounding area. It becomes possible to see enemies coming and react accordingly. High ground also provides a better place to take a stand from, to attack or defend. Higher ground protects against floods or other dangers too, as it allows a person to stand above the torrent.
Unless you are a keen hiker or outdoors person, it’s unlikely that you have had much need to seek out higher ground. But each one of us has high ground that we run to when times get tough. For many of us, our parents and our childhood home is the place of high ground. It’s the place where we can run to for safety and where we feel we can weather any storm. Sadly for some, however, that is not their experience. But we still have a place (actual or metaphorical) that we seek out and go to for safety.
As King David writes Psalm 61, he is crying out for a place of safety. Unlike many psalms, we are not told of the trouble that David is facing as he writes this psalm. But he is crying out to God and his heart is growing faint. He is in trouble and needs help. Like us, he wanted to find higher ground and a place of safety. So he prays:
“lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (v2)
Safety is a rock to stand on and a higher place be. David finds in God that place of safety and strength. “I long to dwell in your tent forever,” he says later, “and take refuge in the shelter of your wings” (v4).
For David, Almighty God was the higher ground of safety. He was the one he sought out above all when times grew tough and his heart grew faint. He ran to the Lord and found God to be a strong tower of refuge (v3).
Having places of refuge and safety in our lives is a good thing. We should be thankful if we have a home to run to when times get tough. But the source of our true safety and strength is only to be found in God who is the rock who is far higher than any of us. He is the place of safety and higher ground.