Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place?
"When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep." Genesis 28:11 (NIV)
I sat in disbelief as my doctor explained the results of my ultrasound. "There's a large cyst with tentacles that has consumed your left ovary," she explained. "We need to schedule surgery as soon as possible. In my expert opinion, there's a 70% chance you may have ovarian cancer."
While my body felt numb, my mind raced with unanswered questions: What does this mean for me and my family? How will I get through this?
I felt completely alone and helpless. With no good choice in sight, I was between a rock and a hard place, with no way out.
Have you ever found yourself there, stuck without options? Maybe you're there now. It's a difficult, lonely, hurting place. For me, it's a familiar place. I was there when my first husband died, when finances were insufficient and as my health faltered.
During that time of waiting for surgery, I found comfort in Jacob's story. Tucked in the book of Genesis, Jacob found himself in a difficult place. He had stolen the family's inheritance from his brother, Esau. Once Esau realized what Jacob had done, he was out to get him. Literally. So Jacob had no choice but to leave home.
Our key verse explains that Jacob had a full day of travel, and "When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep" (Genesis 28:11).
I find it remarkable that Jacob was able to lay his head on a stone and go to sleep after he had been uprooted and was running for his life. Jacob was out of his comfort zone. He was in a hard, cold place instead of his warm, comfortable bed.
When cancer was likely, I had a restless night of tossing and turning. It was challenging for me to lay my concerns down on a soft pillow and go to sleep, but not for Jacob. He took a stone and put it under his head and slept. How? How could Jacob sleep unless his security was found in something other than his ability to outrun his pursuers?
Perhaps Jacob knew a Rock that was more than a solid mineral. Maybe Jacob saw his rock as the Rock of Ages. How else could he lay his head and all his fears on a rock if it were not God the Rock as described in Psalm 18:2?
"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." (NIV)
What an amazing truth: God is our Rock!
This means when you and I find ourselves "between a rock and a hard place," we can transform that experience from being stuck between a rock to resting on the Rock.
After reading about Jacob, I decided to change my perspective. Instead of viewing my position as being between a rock and a hard place, I envisioned myself resting on Christ the Rock and leaving all my cares there.
On the day of my surgery, I was at peace. The nurses noticed my calm disposition. I was resting on my Rock.
When the surgery was over, I awoke to good news. The cyst was benign! I'm thankful it turned out well. But even if it hadn't, I would still find peace and rest in my Rock.
Friend, I hope when you feel yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, you'll see it as Christ the Rock. Then you can lay down your head and find rest in that hard place.
Dear Lord, thank You for being my Rock, my shield, safety and salvation in troubled times. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 10:4, "[All] drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you feel stuck today? How can you view your rock as God the Rock and rest in Him?
The Psalms contain words of encouragement for those who feel trapped. Read Psalm 91 and other chapters to learn of God's faithfulness.