The Privileged Life: Standing on the Rock of Ages

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” Psalm 18:2a

The Appalachian Mountains may not appear to be very rocky compared to their Western counterparts. Our hills look sort of soft and comfy from a distance with all those trees. 

But take a hike in sneakers along one of our stony trails, and you’ll wish you had worn sturdier hiking boots with thick soles. Our University of Tennessee fight song is even called “Rocky Top.”

Rocks, though, are great places for resting spots. Picnic tables. Steps across creeks. Platforms for magnificent waterfalls. Overhangs for protection in a rainstorm.

What I love most about the big ol’ rocks around here is standing on them, to drink in the views from a secure vantage point. It’s such a privilege to reach a great lookout boulder, often the reward at the pinnacle of a hike. (Check out the Beacon Heights Overlook Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Roan Mountain Bald at Carver’s Gap, and High Rocks on the Appalachian Trail from Spivey Gap.)

In the Bible, our God is praised over and over as a “rock,” especially in the Psalms. The metaphor is usually accompanied by words like “refuge,” “fortress,” “strength,” and “deliverer.” 

It’s a fitting name for God because of His faithfulness, His power, His eternal presence, and His protection for us. A rock can be absolutely beautiful as well, with sparkling “gems” embedded in it.

Jesus is our Rock in the midst of shifting sands. One of my favorite verses is in Psalm 40, a reminder of His redemption and resurrection of our souls: “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” (Psalm 40:2)

When you are troubled this week, feeling weary, caught up in a battle, or just longing for His presence, run to the Rock of our salvation…the Stone the builders rejected…the One who stands firm for you. Plant your feet securely in His promises, and watch the amazing views of His grace unfold before you.

O Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer, thank You for being our stronghold and confidence. When our hearts are overwhelmed, lead us to the Rock that is higher than we are. Lift us up, O Rock of Ages, that we may find our strength and protection in Your glory and salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Rocks jutting out from slopes below Roan Mountain
The view from a massive rock ledge at Beacon Heights, along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Jones Falls cascades near Tennessee-North Carolina border
Our daughter, Elizabeth, with her dog, Kensie, and my husband, Mark, enjoying the view at High Rocks on the AT
Standing on a big rock at Roan Mountain

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© Copyright 2021 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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