The Rock I Cling To

[Originally posted by lathlean on 2 June 2013]

Today’s faithful daily read is Psalm 121.

This week I attended my first Banff Film Festival, which is an annual festival dedicated to screening short stories and documentaries about adventure seekers and explorers. One story that stood out to me was that of 27 year old Alex Honnold, an American rock climber well known for ascending large cliffs without a rope. In the film we follow Alex as he sets out to achieve what nobody has done before. Climb three of the largest rock faces, a combined height of more than 7000ft, without a harness within a single day. As we watch Alex achieve this amazing feat it is obvious that he has tremendous composure and steadfast courage in the face of real danger. A fellow rock climber and friend states in the film that Alex simply does not experience fear like the rest of us.

Fortunately, most of us don’t routinely face death like Alex Honnold but we all have our own mountains to climb and fears to overcome. This brings us to today’s reading Psalm 121, which describes the Lord as our helper and guardian.  The psalmist begins by drawing our attention to the mountains in our lives (v1) and continually reminds us that God is watching over and protecting us. We get a sense that the psalmist was deeply concerned for his wellbeing but at the same time is strengthen by his faith in God.

As a Christian we have no fear in death “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55), or in eternal punishment “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18). Yet sometimes I still find myself worrying about all the other things in between. Will God continually provide for me? Can I make a difference in this world? Will I live a fulfilled life? Questions that make us all feel scared from time to time.

Fear, therefore, comes in all shapes and sizes. Even Alex Honnold who can fearlessly scale massive rock faces must overcome fear in some aspect of his life. As Christians we have the knowledge and comfort that in our daily routine God will not let us fall (v3). God doesn’t promise that things will be easy but we have the assurance that he will watch over our lives both now and forevermore.