Photo: Bronze Sculpture by Tom Otterness displayed at Western Washington University, Photo by Geri E. Forsberg
“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) (NIV)
When my son was little, I’d take him to the beach to hunt for pretty rocks. We looked for unique, shiny, beautiful rocks. Sometimes we’d go to the local rock show where we could buy polished rocks.
Rocks have always been fascinating to me. As a professor in the university, I think our students are also searching for rocks. They are searching for something unique, something solid, something that has substance. They want to find something that is real and true—something they can hold on to.
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is our Rock, and he is unique. “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). The Bible goes on to describe our God as a perfect Rock, a just Rock, a Rock who protects, a Rock who delivers, a Rock who redeems our lives, a Rock who saves. He is a Rock who is living. He is an eternal Rock. The writer of Isaiah says, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:4).
God is an accessible Rock; we can speak to Him, and He listens. The psalmist prayed to God saying, “To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me” (Psalm 28:1, NIV). Our God hears and listens to us. We can always go to him.
God is also a Rock who educates and trains us for the work we must do. David, the psalmist wrote, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1). God wants to be part of our educational process.
University students (and all of us) are immersed in disinformation, misinformation, fake news, media manipulation and propaganda. Social media have produced a type of sinking-sand environment. The Bible tells us not to build our lives on a foundation of sand, but on the living Rock.
The Bible also warns people not to forget the Rock. In Isaiah we read, “You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress” (Isaiah 17:10). And the psalmist is encouraged that the people “remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer” (Psalm 78:35).
As Christians, we can point our students, co-workers, and neighbors to the eternal, living, saving, protecting Rock. We can help them search for a Rock that is beautiful. As a Christian professor, I can do that as I bring Christ into my research and publishing, and into my classroom discussions. Regardless of our vocation, we can point our students, co-workers, and neighbors toward the Rock as we take time to pray for and with them.
Several years ago, a former student returned to campus the night I was speaking to the Christian students. He came up to me after I finished speaking to tell me that because of my prayers with him in my office many years earlier, the direction of his life was completely changed. The student is following the leading of Jesus Christ. Our students are searching. Regardless of our position, we can help others find and hold on to the Rock.
Reflection: Am I building my professional life and work on the eternal Rock? Am I clinging to the Rock and allowing those around me to see how I cling to the Rock—through prayer, upholding God’s truth, and living for Him?
Today’s Challenge: Take a little time this week to share your testimony with someone who does not know the Rock but may be hunting and searching for him.
-Geri Forsberg, PhD, Western Washington University