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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

22 April 2020: Peter Belton Saint Mary Magdalen Church, Sheet


I was looking at a programme on TV the other day: it was about rock climbing in Greenland.

After a gruelling and dangerous march, four climbers and a camera crew climbed a shrinking glacier, on loose scree, falling ice cliffs and thinning ice with hidden crevasses. After a week or more they reached the mountain. First, they struggled up a steep slope of snow with a thin crust of ice and more than a metre deep. Every time they put a foot down, it broke through the crust and they found it very energy sapping.

Eventually they found rock to climb, but it was very cracked, loose and crumbling. VERY dangerous. They couldn’t be sure of each step and the quality was so bad they couldn’t belay round anything. Terribly unsafe...

It just struck me that their story was a metaphor for life without God. We struggle and move along our life, often with difficulty. There are many possible routes, some more dangerous than others and WE have to choose one. WE might take along all sorts of devices for bridging the problems but we still twist our ankles and fall (in all sorts of ways) and are utterly exhausted by our efforts.

Then I read Psalm 18, particularly verses 1 to 3

verse 1 ... I love you Lord, with all my strength

verse 2 ... The Lord is MY rock, MY fortress and my deliverer (too)

My rock is a firm foundation, with Him there is no slipping. My rock does not crumble, He defends me, despite attack. He saves me from myself. I can’t do it on my own. None of us can. He is my shield. (And deflects the effects of the problems). He is the strength of saving me)

verse 3 ... So, I call upon the Lord, who is worth of praise.

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