My Rock and My Hard Place

“There is no one holy like the Lord;

there is no one besides you;

there is no Rock like our God.“
I Samuel 2:2

Over 40 years ago I fell in love with Jesus. I was in a small church in the deep south and I can remember a young man sharing the good news that God had sent His son Jesus to pay the ultimate price for all the sins of the world. I understood as a young girl that my heart and mind were not holy and right like the God I learned about on Sundays. I understood that I had thoughts, words, and deeds that separated me from a holy God and that I deserved punishment. Hot tears streamed down my face on that Sunday morning as the sun shone through the window and I prayed with a servant at the church. I accepted Jesus’ payment for my sin through his death on the cross and had overwhelming joy because I understood He conquered the grave and was preparing a place for me in Heaven. I was forgiven! I remember not being able to stop my tears on the ride home from church because my heart was so grateful for the gift of salvation!

What I didn’t understand at 7 years old was how much I would need a Savior on this side of eternity. I didn’t know that I would lose my dad to cancer when I was 22 or battle infertility as a young married woman. I couldn’t understand that people would crush my heart through broken relationships or that I would face failed adoptions or bury a baby. The child-like faith that God graced me with as a young girl began a journey that would lead to some magnificent places I would have never dreamed but it also took me at times to places that I would not have chosen.

"I didn’t understand...how much I would need a Savior on this side of eternity."

I have learned to live between “my Rock and my hard place” time and time again. And, like Hannah, I want to proclaim there is NO ROCK like our God!

Timeless Connections

My story echoes Hannah’s from 1 Samuel in so many remarkable ways that I can feel her prayer deep in my soul. It was out of her pain that she pursued the Lord and grew to know and love Him intimately. I would not have ever chosen many of the paths that the Lord has allowed me to travel, but in every single instance I have learned more about His character, His heart, and His ways. Now with more days on earth behind me than ahead of me, I am grateful that He allowed these hard places in my life so that I would learn to dwell with my Rock, Jesus. To learn to abide in Him on this side of eternity has been His greatest gift to me!

Recently the Lord ordered my steps to cross paths with another woman in our church. I was deeply attracted to her spirit because I could see that she reflected His radiance. As I pursued a friendship with her I realized why my heart loved hers even before we really knew one another’s stories. She, too, had learned that there was no one and nothing on this side of eternity that compared with knowing Jesus. We shared our most recent heartbreaks with tears filling our eyes and pauses in our conversation where the ends of the sentences weren’t even necessary. My sister understands my pain. She knows my Rock and she understands my hard place. She was willing to be transparent to encourage me! What a GIFT!

In an ever changing world where we are dealing with crises at every turn, I am more aware than ever that the body of Christ needs one another! We need to be able to share our victories and our defeats for the glory of our great God to make His praise known!

Transparent Investments

Years ago I attended a conference and one of the speakers shared that we all have a choice in our lives: we can either impress people or influence them. If we long to impress, we will keep only our highlight reels available to others. If our heart is to be used by the Lord, then we must be willing to influence and the price of influence is transparency.

"I would not have ever chosen many of the paths that the Lord has allowed me to travel, but in every single instance I have learned more about His character, His heart, and His ways."

I want to share some of your journeys, Evergreen. We are an ever growing body filled with incredible stories of our Rock, Jesus. I long to help you offer pieces of your life story to benefit the body of Christ. Would you be willing to be transparent and to influence and encourage others to trust the Lord? He is WORTHY!

Lord, use our stories to magnify your incredible work in our lives! We lay our lives at your feet for your use. There is no one holy like you, Lord! You are the One and Only! You are our mighty, unshakeable, unchangeable Rock on whom we can depend. As we feel the ever growing pressure of this world, may we embrace being between a ‘rock and a hard place’ knowing that our ROCK is ever available to us and is the greatest shelter we could ever ask for. Help us to know that any and every hard place we endure can be used by you to conform us to the image of Christ and bring you glory. Thank you for the hard places that lead us to the Rock. For the sake of Your great name, Jesus, Amen.

(Please email me at marilynosborn@fastmail.com if you would be willing to share your story with Evergreen!)
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