The search for a true tower

 It’s 8:18 on the back roads of Pennsylvania and I’m hunting for a tower.

Normally, I would head out on one of these 8:18 rambles with nothing but a willingness to hear what God might be telling me. Then I’d let it lead me to Scripture.

But this morning, I awoke unnecessarily early and spent time meditating on Psalm 62:

He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (vs 2)

Here, David is, as is often the case, beset by wicked men. In response, he turns to the LORD, picturing God as an invincible stronghold, set high upon a rock. So I am heading out on a drive with a prayer, “Lord, show me a high tower."

The rolling farmlands of my state are not a likely location for a fortress. The valleys have snug farms. The only structures to break the silhouette of the wooded ridges are occasional communications towers. But I am undaunted, wandering without a map, just hoping to find some spire to inspire me.

Just as I’m considering heading home, I come to an intersection. The crossing road, to my amusement, is Tower Road. Well, Lord, I say through a grin, it doesn’t get much clearer than that.

The wending lane takes me up to the crest of the ridge. And there is the reason for the road: yet another spindly, metal signal tower – hardly the castle turret I had been hoping for. Heck, I’d have settled for a forestry watchtower.

But, on my drive back down, I start to reconsider. A cell tower is actually a good metaphor. For, David’s fortress wasn’t an actual structure. It was a relationship, a two-way communication with an unseen, immortal Being. In fact, when he turns to address the people of God in verse 8, he says:

                        pour out your heart before him;
                                 God is a refuge for us.

This is how we realize our security, our place of sure defense. By pouring out our hearts before him. By making him the only rock and salvation we turn to.

A stone’s throw from the tower, I find a substantial stone mansion. I’m sure it was built here to be a place of escape, far from the everyday problems of work. And it reminds me of all the good things in our lives that can become wrongful refuges for us. Not only our houses, but our careers, our reputations, our families, our finances.

I need to guard against these false fortresses, to be careful not to put my hope and security in something other than Jesus.

For he alone is my rock and salvation.

Forgive us, Lord, when we turn to any other refuge. You alone can protect us. You alone give us the purpose and power to face the challenges around us. Thank you for opening the signal between us through Jesus. How precious it is to pour out our hearts and know that you hear us.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you liked this, please use the buttons above to share it!

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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