By Joan Davis
This month, my husband and I are blessed to be able to visit one of our favorite places on earth – Yosemite National Park. I love that we get to visit during my favorite season of the year in order to enjoy the autumn colors before the snows of winter turn the valley into a winter wonderland. Though visiting at any time of year is a true gift! As I anticipate our upcoming trip, my mind is going back to another October visit not too long ago. I remember marveling at the beauty and grandeur of this incredible National Park. The diversity of life showcased there is a testament of God’s creativity and artistic design. His artistry is also evident in the rugged contrasts He creates in the park’s forested areas. On that trip, the colors of the autumn foliage in comparison to the steel grey of the valley’s granite walls took my breath away. We entered the park just as the last rays of sunlight filtered through the trees, and I actually became emotional witnessing the splendor of it all! In addition to the magnificent beauty of the park, there is one thing that never fails to amaze me, and that is seeing the rock climbers on the cliffs high above.
I remember the second afternoon in the park, turning my focus to El Capitan, the huge rock formation that towers 3,000 feet above the valley floor. This majestic piece of granite, with its sheer sides and craggy peak, draws climbers from all over the world. On this particular trip, there were a couple of climbers making their way to the summit that caught my attention. I could see them in the distance, tiny specs on the side of the cliff, slowly making their ascent. With their bodies flattened against the stone they placed hand over hand as they climbed upward to reach their goal. But, what astounded me about these climbers most was what was right below them. There were two tents strapped precariously against the completely vertical cliff! I discovered that climbers often attach shelters to the sheer walls of El Captain in order to have a place to rest during their climb and even to provide themselves with a place to sleep, away from the elements, through the cold night. The thought of sleeping while dangling 3,000 feet above the ground completely unnerves me! But, to these brave individuals, hugging the cliff while inside a climbing tent provides much needed rest, comfort and protection.
Just as it is the climber’s mission to cling to the towering rock for safety as he faces the elements, it is ours to cling to our Rock, Jesus Christ. He is our secure pillar of stone, strong and mighty.
“The LORD is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Savior; my God is my Rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety” (Psalm 18:2, NLT).
There are many names given to the Lord in the Hebrew language. Each one describes His divine attributes. One of my favorites is El Sali – God of my Strength; God my Rock. The word “El” literally translates as “might, strength, power”; and the base word “Sala” – means “cliff or crag”. Together they describe our God as a Strong and Mighty Rock. When we cling to that Rock, we are safe in His fortress and are granted the comfort and rest we need.
Jesus, the God of My Strength provides sure footing for us as we climb precariously through the uncertainties in in life. No matter what storms swirl around us, or what challenges are in our path, He will provide us with protection. Our God will never let us go. When we stay close to Him, He will shelter us and give us the strength we need to reach the goal. Today I am praising God for His mighty strength! Jesus, you are my Rock and I am clinging to you!
Joan Davis started her blog, The Beauty in His Grip, in order to share her thankfulness to God for His redeeming hand on her life. She believes that everything happens for a reason and the life-lessons learned along the way should be shared with others in order to build up the body for Christ. It is her desire is to encourage other women through the lessons that God has taught her. Joan shares the incredible truth that we can never fall so far that we are beyond the reach of God. There are no lost causes, for He loves us all. It doesn’t matter how rocky our pasts, God will always accept us when we surrender our lives to Him. With Christ we can live a life filled with abundant joy simply by knowing and experiencing Him through His mercy, grace and unfailing love.