2 The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer.
3 My God is my rock—I take refuge in him!—
he’s my shield and my salvation’s strength,
my place of safety and my shelter.
My savior! Save me from violence!
4 Because he is praiseworthy,
I cried out to the Lord,
and I was saved from my enemies.
5 Death’s waves were all around me;
rivers of wickedness terrified me.
6 The cords of the grave surrounded me;
death’s traps held me tight.
7 In my distress I cried out to the Lord;
I cried out to my God.
God heard my voice from his temple;
my cry for help reached his ears.
I had a conversation with someone the other day and they used a phrase I had never heard before – and I like to think of myself as a collector of humorous little phrases. They said about someone going through a difficult time (someone who didn’t seem to be learning anything from it!), that “maybe they’ve got to hang on that cross a little while longer.”
I thought about that for a while. It’s just jarring and irreverent enough to get the point across. I like it.
You know, when we pray to God for deliverance, we usually want a quick fix. We want to come down off the cross NOW. David, who prayed the prayer from today’s scripture, certainly looked to God that way many times over the course of his lifetime – when besieged by enemies, surrounded by untrustworthy advisors, or confronted with the reality of his own sin.
But there were times in David’s life, I’m sure, just as in ours, where he had to “hang on that cross a little while longer.” There were times when salvation – when deliverance – didn’t come right away, though he prayed earnestly for it.
What if maybe there are times when it shouldn’t? What do we have to learn by staying on that cross just a little while longer?
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Sometimes there’s no way to be saved from a place of pain without passing through it. Sometimes there’s no way to transform what we’re feeling without first facing it. Is there a situation you’ve been praying to be delivered from that maybe you ought to be praying for the strength to get through?
Prayer: God, though we hate you for it sometimes, we have to admit that there are moments when the only way out is through. We trust you to be with us in those moments, to transform our places of hurt and sorrow into places of strength and beauty. Amen.