You are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 31:3
It was worth the wait. My wife Judy and I decided to hit the road for a quick trip to Dayton, Ohio. It all started when my son-in-law sent me a picture from the National Air Force Museum located in, wait for it, Dayton. Being an Air Force veteran, I had heard of it but had never taken the opportunity to go and see it. When he sent me a couple of pictures…I knew it was time. So, we loaded up and drove up and over and in about five hours we were there.
Let me just say it was worth every mile. The museum is housed in four huge hanger type buildings and each hanger held a different era of air history. The first was the period from the Wright brothers to World War I, the second was World War II, the third was the Korean and Cold Wars and finally the last was filled with Vietnam and the years following. Literally hundreds of aircraft were on display, and I was in awe. My favorite was World War II because, like so many, I admire what Tom Brokaw called “the Greatest Generation.” Their commitment and sacrifice were and still is amazing. While war is never romantic, the sight of these brave men and women and their flying machines, stirred powerful emotions of a time gone by.
Well, after the museum, we did what everyone does…eat. Using our GPS, we navigated our way to a large shopping area and saw a restaurant called “Black Rock.” We asked someone and they assured us it was very good, but they also said we probably couldn’t get in. We decided to try anyway. Well, we could get in, but it was going take about 45 minutes. So, we added our names to the wait list and waited. Sure enough, about 45 minutes later, the text came, and we were in.
The place was packed and loud so were excited to see what all the uproar was about. Our server came to our table, and she explained what they are most famous for…a black rock. Here’s the deal. If you order steak, they bring it to your table…raw. They also bring a square chunk of black lava rock that is heated to—wait for it—755 degrees. The raw meat is sizzling in the middle of the rock, and you get to cook your own steak. You slice off a bite size piece of steak, lay it on the 755-degree rock in a puddle of melted garlic butter and in about 15 seconds for each side—you are ready to eat. It was awesome.
With a special creamy steak sauce for dipping, well, it really was just delicious. I know and you know the rock idea is a hook, a crowd getter but it was more. There was something special about slicing and cooking your meat on that super-heated rock. While the food tasted so good—the experience was more—much more. I think my man genes were set to high as I sliced a chunk of raw meat and cooked it for my wife. I felt like the hunter, gatherers of old. I could almost hear the wolves howling in the distance.
Now trust me. If they had brought that piece of meat already cooked, I would have said it was a pretty good steak, but the rock changed everything. The sound of sizzling meat changed everything. In other words, some things change everything and that was true that night, but it is truer every day, in every way, and everywhere—when that Rock is Jesus. Just like the rock changed the meal, the presence of the Rock of Ages in our lives makes all the difference in the world.
And get this—it had to be the rock. A small charcoal fire, nope. A propane gas burner, nope. An electric burner, nada. It was the rock, that 755-degree, meat sizzling, butter melting rock that changed it all. And I want you to know that it is the Rock of Ages that can burn away all the dross of sin that separates us from God. If you are willing to let Him, He wants, He waits to forgive and give you a fresh start. It is something that being good, that church, that religion just can’t do. It is a singular act of God and His grace that makes the difference. It is what caused the writer of Psalms to pen, “You are my rock and my fortress.”
So, if you ever see a restaurant named, “Black Rock” whip in an experience the cooking power of a 755-degree piece of black lava rock. And, if you find yourself down and out and out of luck, remember to look for the Rock of Ages. He is waiting to forgive you and call you His own. He is waiting to change your life forever. He’s waiting to whisper, “I’ve got this. Bro. Dewayne