Between a rock and a hard place

Carolyn Tucker. Submitted photo.

Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker


In the 60s and 70s, I had the privilege of growing up around country people in a small town (population 1,063) in Missouri. Thinking back to my roots, I’m especially fond of the rural dialect I heard and spoke everyday. These informal phrases were not found in a dictionary, but no one ever had to explain their meaning. For example: “ugly as a mud fence, skinny as a rail, big as a barn, two heads are better than one, a heart as big as a washtub” and the list could go on until the cows come home. Today I’m focusing on the colloquial slang of being “between a rock and a hard place.” Again, no explanation is necessary and I would imagine most every adult has been there, or is there right now.

This phrase gives the impression that you’re stuck and there’s no way out. But I want you to know there’s one adjustment to one word that can turn your situation completely around. If you’ll capitalize the letter “r” in “rock,” you have “Rock.” King David said, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my Rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken“ (Psalm 62:5,6 NLT). When you have God as your Rock on one side, it doesn’t matter what the hard place is on the other side. God is bigger than any “mountain” you will ever come up against. He’s not asleep at the wheel, He knows what’s going on, and He’s working in secret to bring you out in victory.

As a believer, you have a responsibility to exercise your faith and believe that your Rock will deliver you. God needs you to work with Him in cooperating with His Word (which is His will), purposes, and plan. If you’ve thrown in the towel and given up, you’re not giving God anything to work with! The Bible is full of powerful scriptures to help you through tough times. But if you don’t truly believe them as your own personal promises, you’ll continue to struggle with fear and doubt. God doesn’t want His children to be miserable, so He tells us, “Do not tremble; do not be afraid. …Is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock — not one!” (Isaiah 44:8 NLT).

I don’t know what your personal “hard place” is, but God does. You must learn to trust Him to do what only He can do. Jesus told His disciples, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26 NLT). The definition of everything is: every thing; all. Or if you prefer a country dialect, it means “the whole shebang.” “Now all glory to God who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think“ (Ephesians 3:20 NLT).

My favorite gospel songwriter, Dottie Rambo, composed the lyrics and music to “I Go to the Rock.” In 1996, Whitney Houston performed this song in the hit movie “The Preacher’s Wife.” Here are some of the lyrics: “Where do I go when there’s no one else to turn to? Who do I talk to when it seems no one wants to listen? Who do I lean on when there’s no foundation stable? I go to the Rock I know that’s able, I go to the Rock.”

The Key: If you’re between the Rock and a hard place, you can trust God that everything is going to be all right.

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