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The foundation of the world

Friday, December 22, 2006

1 Samuel 2:2, 6-8
Hannah's prayer as she dedicated her baby Samuel:

"There is no rock like our God. ... The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

"For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's; upon them he has set the world."

I have some favorite huge rocks that I love to stand on. One overlooks Sugar Creek at the edge of Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. I remember feeling a little dizzy beside Niagara Falls on a huge outcropping. I balanced on a slippery rock under Havasu Falls near the Grand Canyon. But there is no rock like our God.

At Turkey Run, I like jumping on the rock, and feeling it not move. I remember my body relaxing as I jump once or twice. This rock isn't going anywhere. I can sit down and dangle my feet over the edge, or sit cross-legged in the middle and wait for the world to end. The foundation of the earth is solid underneath me, and I fear nothing.

Sometimes there are fossil marks in the rock, or marks made by rivulets of water over many years. Moss grows on parts of the rock. Even a tree might find its way into the sky through the rock. My little lifetime seems so short when I think about those changes. And I know nearly nothing will change about this rock between now and when I see it again.

My perspective, my feelings, my opinions, my life ... get wrinkles and grow old. Not so God's. I might hide in the cleft of his rock, or I might stand on him because he invites me to. But when I throw myself against him he does not move. God is the sure thing. God is the foundation of everything.

Praise you, Lord. On this winter solstice day, this darkest day before the dawn, I stand because you hold me up. You do not move. You are beautiful and strong.

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