21-23 God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.”
That last sentence…”But you won’t see my face.” There are times when I desperately need to see the Lord’s face, if only figuratively, in my life and the situations that occur.
I know of many people who also feel this way; they need a glimpse into holiness that reminds them there’s more to what is seen here in this life. Sometimes, the life we lead leaves us in a position of being between a rock and a hard place.
A mid-forties couple struggles to find and pay for the right care for their twenty-something daughter trying to recover from a two story fall.
A sixty-something woman now cares for her forty-something daughter at home, after a long stay in custodial care that occurred after a motorcycle accident, only to have her husband die from cancer while she struggles alone and hopes to pay for it all on a fixed income.
A seventy year old woman goes daily to a nursing home to care for her ninety-five year old mother, while trying to cope with her own health issues, care for her home and husband, and offer a second chance to a grown grandson residing in her home.
A sixty-something woman struggles with continuing health issues, a difficult marriage, and assists her near-ninety year old parents with everyday tasks.
A retired couple continues to live with an adult autistic grandson whom they’ve raised since toddler-hood as they attempt to be godly influences to fifteen other grandchildren.
The faith of these people is strong but, after years of struggle, their flesh is becoming increasingly weak. Even the Lord succumbed to death after He was beaten and tortured.
As believers, we don’t despair or become hopeless. But, we can be overcome by great physical fatigue, emotional depletion, and spiritual fruitlessness.
God’s people were walking into a place between a rock and a hard place. The Lord declared He would not be going with the people. Moses begged, “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Thy sight, I and Thy people? Is it not by going with us, so that we, I and Thy people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:16 (NASB).
We can feel as if the Lord has left us on our own, struggling in solitude, going through our desert as a solo traveler. Like the people in the Exodus 33 passage, we may have watched from a distance how the glory of the Lord descends upon select individuals and yet we are left to experience painful sensations of abandonment and insecurity.
Our intercessor, Jesus, begs on our behalf for the Lord to continue to search the earth to find one whose heart is completely His. He ever lives to make intersession for us. Even when we are between a rock and a hard place.
In the lonely valley, God gives us the same guarantee given to Moses. His glory is about to pass by. You will be shielded by His hand. You won’t see His face, but you will see He has been with you, feel His passing presence, and know of His provision for you.
His presence with you, in your rock and hard place spot, will be a witness to those around you. Our trials and God’s presence with us in them is what distinguishes us from all other people on the earth.
Take another look around. If there’s a rock on one side and a hard place on the other, know you are in the cleft of safety carved out by One Who Sees. Hold on. The darkness you see is from His Hand shielding you. When things lighten up, you won’t see His face, but you will know, it will come about, that He has been with you all along.