Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.

—Psalm 31:3

When I was in 5th grade, I had to memorize the poem “God’s World” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The poem speaks of the beauty and splendor of the world. The first line is “World, I cannot hold thee close enough!” It continues on to describe a glorious autumn day, with the physical details surrounding the poet. One detail in the poem has always stayed with me.

…“That gaunt crag
To crush!”

I guess that word “crag” has always seemed unusual to me and yet so descriptive.

A crag is a steep, rugged cliff face. In Psalm 31 that we read today, we hear about how strong God is. The Psalmist begins by saying,

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge

The Psalmist’s words suggest being in a place of trouble or peril. In such times, the Psalmist finds safety in God. God is the strong rock. God is the castle of protection. God is the safety of a steep, rugged cliff. God leads and guides.

This time of year often elicits strong emotions. Whether it is the busyness of our schedules or the stress of creating the perfect holiday or reminders and grief over our loved ones who have died.

May we, like the Psalmist, find refuge in God, our crag and stronghold.