July Memory Verse
I love you, LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
– Psalm 18:1-2
David is described by God Himself in 1 Samuel 13:14 as a man after his own heart. And, true to his character, David wrote Psalm 18 as an expression of deep gratitude and love for the Lord. He identifies God as his rock after He saved David from all his enemies and Saul (for he did not consider Saul an enemy). David acknowledged that he loved the Lord wholly and without reservation, but his faith went further; he also believed that he could depend on the Lord’s strength and boundless love in any situation.
The Lord is for us—as He was for David—a shield in days when arrows threaten to pierce our world. The Lord allows us and wants us to hold on to His strength when we are weary and bone-tired. He is a rock to shelter us when our land seems like a relentless desert of unrest. A rock, the firm foundation we stand upon when we grasp for answers while our world falls apart from an unimaginable pandemic or from a cancer diagnosis.
In 2018, my own strength was tested after a routine out-patient hernia repair morphed into exploratory surgery and mass tissue removal. With seemingly endless blood tests, biopsies, and scans, my cancer journey had begun.
However, my true journey had already begun a few years prior, when the blood of Christ became my salvation, and He became my rock. Delving into His Word, listening to inspiring sermons, and experiencing the Great Banquet all helped prepare me for what was to come. My feet were already planted on the Solid Rock.
The Lord was my strength when I cried out, “Help me, Lord,” after long hours in the chemotherapy chair. When all of that did not cure me, He became my shield during radiation treatment. My doctors thought I was the poster boy for cancer, but the real star was the One who set the stars in motion—my Rock and my Deliverer.
Today, God is our shelter, our strength, and our fortress from all the physical, emotional, and all too tangible burdens of living in a broken world. Today, we can have the strength to meet and triumph over all adversity, knowing we have this refuge, horn of salvation, and stronghold.
No matter what the days may bring us, smiles or tears, or maybe a little of each, He is there: our Rock!
by Michael & Joyce Filbrandt