This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 61. Here is what I learned.
From the end of the earth will I call unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2 (ASV)
When I’m far from anywhere, down to my last gasp, I call out, “Guide me up High Rock Mountain!” Psalm 61:2 (MSG)
"When my heart is overwhelmed." Troubles are of various kinds; some are provoking, some are gnawing, some are perplexing, and some are overwhelming; but whatever form they assume, they are troubles, and are part of the wear and tear of life.... Overwhelming troubles are such as sweep over a man, just as the mighty billows of the ocean sweep over and submerge the sands. These are troubles which struggle with us, as it were, for life and death; troubles which would leave us helpless wrecks; troubles which enter into conflict with us in our prime, which grapple with us in our health and strength, and threaten to conquer us by sheer force, no matter how bravely we may contend. Such trouble the Psalmist knew. - Philip Bennett Power, in "The 'I wills' of the Psalms," 1861.
"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." The language is very remarkable. It gives us the idea of a man suffering shipwreck. The vessel in which he has been sailing has sunk. He has been plunged into the mighty ocean; and there he is buffeting the waves, struggling for life, panting for breath, and just about to give up all for lost. Suddenly he discovers a rock towering above him. If he can but climb up to the top of it, and get sure footing upon it, the billows will not be able to reach him, and he will be safe. Now, the prayer in our text is the cry of that poor wretch for help. He is so spent and exhausted, that he cannot reach the rock himself. He shouts aloud for the friendly hand of some one stronger than himself, or for a rope that may be flung to him by those who are already safe on the rock, if by these helps he may gain it. "Lead me to the rock," cries the poor perishing wretch. "O, lead me, guide me, direct me to it; for I am so worn and spent, that I cannot reach it otherwise. I am at the point to die; and I must sink, and be no more seen for ever, if there is none to help me." Thus he calls for some one to rescue him from the deep, and to place him on the "rock," But what rock? He knows that unless the rock be a high one, he will not be in safety, though he should be on it. "The rock," he says, "must be higher than I, or the waves will reach me, and wash me off again." It is not a rock, the top of which just shows itself above the sea, no higher than a man's own body, that will save the life of a shipwrecked mariner. Such a rock may occasion the wreck, but it will not afford any help to the sufferers afterwards; it is a rock to split upon for destruction, not to stand upon for safety. "Lead me to the rock," or as it is in the Prayer-book version, "Set me upon the rock, that is higher than I!"... The text having shown us the danger of sin, does not leave us comfortless; it shows us the security of the refuge. We have before remarked, that the prayer of David, as a shipwrecked man, is, to be "led to," and set upon, a "rock," that is higher than himself. The expression seems to imply much. The rock that is higher than he, must be higher than any man; for David was a mighty monarch. He implies, therefore, that the refuge he seeks must be more than any "arm of flesh" can afford him; it must be therefore divine. - Condensed from a Sermon by Fountain Elwin, 1842.
So overwhelmed that I fell like I’m drowning in the stormy waters, and too weak to even grasp the life preserver. Yet, all I need to do is cry out to God and He will lift me up. No matter my troubles, no matter the depths of my despair, God in His mercy is ready to rescue me.
To create a positive day, it’s not about me doing it on my own, especially when the stormy waters are swirling around me, rather, it’s about crying out to God and simply trust Him to lift me up.