Present Help Accepted

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way.” (Psalm 46:1)

Invariably, distractions gobble up our days like a ferocious monster intent on devouring the last morsel of our sanity. Whatever forms they assume, disruptions hijack our attention from focusing on God’s presence and his all-encompassing power around and within us.  

The Scriptures highlight various calamities that seemed to minimize God’s supreme control and sidetrack the children of Israel from focusing on God. In contrast, when King Jehoshaphat contended with a great hoard of warriors larger in numbers and strength than his own, he refused to be diverted.

When his men informed him of the grave danger that “A great multitude is coming against you…” (2 Chronicles 20:2), Jehoshaphat’s response serves as a template for us to imitate. When we face our own insurmountable situations in a courtroom, boardroom, hospital cubicle, or principal’s office we too can pray, “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

Psalms 46 reinforces this truth that God is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” But our familiarity with this phrase somehow dilutes its powerful impact. What might it mean for us to find refuge in God?

Simply put it means we are to hide, to get alone with him, recognizing he is the perfect hiding place and source of everything we might possibly need in order to endure and overcome.

In the children’s game of hide and seek, one child does the seeking and the other children have the intriguing assignment of hiding themselves in order not to be found quickly. The better the hiding spot and the longer they can remain hidden, the greater their chance of winning the game.

Even grown-ups need perfect hiding spots. We cannot stay on our own, do our own thing, and think we have taken refuge. Without clinging to Christ, we are exposed, vulnerable, and overwhelmed. Our best option will always be to find refuge in the person of Jesus Christ.

Lord, so often we don’t have a clue which way to go, or how to deal with the enormous situation threatening to immobilize us. We have insufficient resources  to make this thing go away, get better, or be made right. We can’t reconcile all the tangled pieces that threaten to undo us. But like Jehoshaphat we are mindful that nothing is too difficult for you, that you never run out of options, that what we see as a mountain is hardly a molehill from your perspective. So today we will choose to make you “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Elizabeth A Mitchell

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabows on Pexels

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