“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Father, I wake with the thought that you have not been asleep – you are not wearied by my concerns or the erupting wars around the world.
You are a refuge from all the troubles that pile up around us, that trip us up, that stress us out. You are safety from harm, a hiding place for right where we are and where our world finds itself at present.
This psalm draws my heart to picture you in vibrant color and leaves no room for drab, unimaginative tones. I will choose to celebrate that the God of old is the God fully in charge of today’s shattering outcomes in places far away and in our own circle of concerns.
Father, you are strength for all our wobbly, weak-kneed, muddled-thinking scenarios. You are our shield of defense against the onslaught of evil and the weariness of trying to make it through the mess. Not the strength that flows from mustering up our own resources, but in recognizing and resting in yours.
You call yourself, “a very present help in trouble” which reinforces that right now you are totally aware that we are in the middle of the mayhem. We must remember that you have not flown far away from where we are. You do not run off and hide when trouble lurks close by. You are all the help we need for today’s annoying details, taxing places, sad outcomes.
Lord, we don’t need to inform you that our world is laboring beneath loads of anxiety and dreadful circumstances. You tell us that “though the earth gives way” (verse 2), if earthquakes upend our existence, we need not be overcome with fear. You are completely sufficient for it all.
You declare yourself to be “the LORD of hosts” (verse 7), the one ruling over the angelic forces of heaven and the countless hosts who exist to do your bidding. All dynamic power is at your disposal. And you are “with us” (verse 7), right here, not going anywhere, ever present by our side and in our midst.
Is it any wonder that following these grand declarations you command us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (verse 10)? You beckon us to bring our racing hearts and restless thoughts under the supervision of your matchless power. To surrender our fear-filled preoccupation with what is not unfolding according to our plans to your supreme authority. To allow your commanding presence to supersede and control our little worlds. To rest completely in your love as children snug tight in the security of their father’s arms.
Elizabeth A Mitchell
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