Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee.
I always say: be careful not to major in extracurricular activities (in college or at work). Always get your basic work done. When you work at work, don’t forget to work… That’s life too!!! Being everything you are and want to be, like being a mom, like running a house then setting aside things to be able to get out of that house (laundry WILL WAIT and so will the dishes). Be who you are supposed to be but also know how to focus. Yes, WORK your situation… (and if you can’t get something to work – ask for help)…
When I started working at my near 21 year place of work, I started landing some unique projects and fulfilled unique roles in my department and in my whole building and in my global organization too. I could do the science or the activities or the new hire trainings or the client conversations or the fill in the blank… There is a nice niche of work, cleft for me… set aside… yeah… and sometimes when I do get called upon for my experience and expertise, it IS because I both have knowledge AND I learned how to maneuver within the system and get stuff done. (how can you not learn SOMETHING after 20 years – it is NOT that I am special it is just I never left…) ANYWAY, you have to know the system to work the system. This is NOT unique to me, but I recognize this as a blessing.
If you are fortunate, your niche may make you a “go to” person as needed – but if there’s too much on your plate (or you want to take a vacation) and you don’t know how to get thru your “to do list”, then first do what ONLY your skill set can do, then do the other stuff anyone can do. Work within your niche but also branch out…
Cleft for me. Is this God’s Will? Is this God’s Action Plan? To have the niche and yet branch out from it too?
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me… So, I only recently truly read and understood this hymn. I woke up and the tune was on the top spinning disk in my head. This DOES pertain to work and to life. Like our cats which sometimes sleep hidden tucked away, remember that they ALSO sometimes sleep WIDE OPEN and sprawled out because they feel safe, they feel comfortable to do so, they TRUST you, they recognize a protective environment. Us too – we much know what to trust – we have niches and we have the opportunity for branching out!
If one knows the Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me old-time 1700s tune, one can easily follow along the words, close the book and leave it there. But if you READ the words, like I recently did, you can get SO MUCH MORE out of it. “Cleft for me” is us being able to hide ourselves in Thee, because the Rock opens a spot to nestle in, to protect us within. To be under God’s Wing. To be safe in a storm. The Rock of Ages is our sturdy foundation. No wonder He sends us out to the world, He knows we are protected and yet given opportunity to work. You have to know the system to work IN the system – and to work FROM the system. God Bless HIS System!
The Rock of Ages tune, whenever it plays in our heads, double reminds us of Jesus’s love AND a niche He carved out for us: to live and to work and to be protected and ALSO to be SAVED… The lyrics proclaim (in verse 1) of a double cure: water and the blood bring guilt relief AND cleansing…
The next two verses speak of Jesus’s actions and our saving thru Him ALONE… He fulfils the Law (Moses’s Law as given by God) as the ultimate sacrifice. Our SALVATION is not from the labor of our own hands, not from our doing, not out of our system. Verse four reminds us of the AMAZING AFTERLIFE… close your eyes and IMAGINE IT then nestle into His niche to really live.
Can we really live now? In God’s system? No matter how broken and bumpy the ride is? Well Yes! Through Jesus, God Almighty and a Living Spirit, we don’t always have to hide under His wing, we can be out sharing in His Joy. But don’t worry – His rock IS cleft for us. He will keep you HIS.
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyelids close in death
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Read about the author’s own coming to faith story: Augustus Toplady (1776) from a website with lyrics alongside music playing (like hymn karaoke): https://hymnary.org/person/Toplady_Augustus
And another online link: