When I was growing up, we spent our summers at our family lake house in upstate New York. From the day after school ended in June until Labor Day Monday, we lived at Cossayuna Lake. It was a small lake, barely two miles long and a half mile wide, but it was our own stretch of paradise.
Down by the beach, just around the point, a long rock jutted out into the water. I liked to call it alligator rock because it looked like the back of a submerged alligator peeking out from under the water. It seemed much bigger when I was nine or ten than when I saw it a few years ago. But on that rock I would do my best preteen thinking, casting my cares out onto the lake with each rock that I skipped across its surface.
When I was afraid, I could always go to alligator rock and the waves from the distant wake of a boat would soothe my spirit as they reached the shore. When my adolescent skin just didn’t fit me right and I needed to go and feel safe and okay about who I was in the world, alligator rock gave me a vista to take in not only the mountains that hugged the shoreline, but me along with it. It gave me perspective on life and my place in it.
That was my first taste of what it is like to dwell in the house of the Lord, to hide in the shelter of God’s sacred space and to gaze upon the beauty of God’s face—in the clouds, in the waves, in the mountains. He set me high upon a rock (v. 5)—alligator rock—and kept me safe.
Where do you go to feel the shelter of God? To dwell in the house of the Lord?
God, thank you that you long to hold us in your presence and give us special places where we can experience the nearness of your care. Amen.