There are times in life when storms are bound to strike. And mostly they do strike when we least expect. Within a matter of seconds, vehicles crash into highway guardrails, planes plunge into oceans, ships sink to the floor of the seas, diseases strike as an evening burglar and thugs shoot without warning.
You wake up one day wholesome and retire in the evening unwholesome. The battles of the day have managed to slice off a substantial chunk of goodness from you.
The events of life vex and victimize the pillars that support the systems of wellbeing. When the pillars totter then temerity of life get terrorised.
The unwholesomeness in humans provides a formidable foundation for a vicious cycle of misfortunes – psychological, physical, social and spiritual. It is a result of a sustained assault on individuals in a community. It is a community that has its fortitude subjected to adversarial forces that would not dissipate. Its aftermath is low levels of resilience and degraded capability to tolerate.
A glance to the East, to the West, to the North and finally to the South reveals the gruesome reality of evil. It has stalked humanity since the days of Adam and Eve. It lurks in the thickets like a Bengal tiger. Today you are speaking to your best friend and tomorrow he is no more; for evil seems to run faster than a Savannah cheetah.
At least each one of us has either passed through the overwhelming floods or consuming fire. It is a time when your physical strength and mental acumen may not help. It is a time when money becomes less important. It is a season when you don’t want to hear good stories anymore.
I have been there at one point. That time when you don’t know if you will see a new day or your body will be collected from a forest or bush. A time when you hang between life and death-anything goes. That is the time when you learn that God hears prayers, even when they are just whispered.
When your heart is overwhelmed
One of the first prime targets for the evil one to strike is the heart. What do you do when the heart is massively assailed? What do you do when the heart is repeatedly targeted?
One bite from a snake is enough to make any man or woman ran away from anything that looks like a snake. If it pulls like a snake, hisses like a snake, and slithers like a snake, then it must be a snake.
So, what happens when your dreams are smashed like fragments of broken glass? What do you do when fire consumes the columns that support your family or community? What do you do when joy and tranquillity become elusive and a mirage?
“From the end of the earth, will I cry unto thee when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 61:2 (KJV).
There exists not one place where the forlorn and sullen soul can run to. But there is only one place that offers hope for a frightened and hapless soul. Those who run to the Lord for dear life have a sure chance of salvation.
When your heart is at its lowest, when your life has hit rock bottom, when the only thing you know is ground zero, when your help is no longer with you, when your rescue arrangement fails, when your plan B backfires in your face; that is the time to cry unto the Lord.
The Psalmist gives us a plan. This plan is for those who are caught up between a rock and a hard place. Those who have hit a snag. Those who are in the fangs of a ruthless enemy. Those who are overwhelmed by heart. The plan is this: Cry unto the Lord. Ask Him to lead you to the rock that is higher than where you are.
Lamentably, we sometimes try to reach the rock that is higher than us by our means. We employ our strength in fighting crushing forces. In this way, we are trying to reach the Infinite using our finite capacities. It is incredibly exhausting to try to reach the Infinite while using our finite muscles. And that is what we do some of the times. The results are suicides, homicides, genocides, murders, divorce, and chronic mental and physical illnesses, among others.
People will tell you how to handle situations they have never handled themselves. ‘When you meet armed thugs, just do this and that.’ But most of them have never encountered armed thugs. As for me and my house, I will tell you one thing, Cry out unto the Lord. He is the only one who can lift you to the rock that is higher than your situation.
The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10 (NIV).