As a result of some conversations I have had with friends, in light of world events, and in light of news I have recently received, Psalm, 46:1-3 has been on my mind. The verses are as follows, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” Then in verse 10 we find these words, “Be still, and know that I am God!”
There is much in the world we cannot control, and for some of us, we may not feel like anyone is listening to us anyway. But these verses from Psalm 46 help us to remember that God is ultimately in control. I remember a colleague in ministry once saying to me, “You know what happens tomorrow, God will still be in control.” This was in light of a contentious and stressful time post-hurricane, with a lack of resources to help with rebuilding. This comment reminded me of the big picture. God is in charge, we are not, and God can bring great things out of tragedy, unfortunate circumstances, and where no good seems possible.
The Psalmist is reminding us, in the midst of the constant of change in the world, God is our refuge. When led to fear, go to the Lord in prayer, in humility, and seeking the protection and refuge of God. When things get scary, when things don’t make sense, and we struggle in picking up in the pieces in life, God is the source of our solace. If this is not so, we may never find solace for our disquieted souls. Things will change. Tragedy will befall. Uncertainty will rear its ugly head, but we can be still and recognize God’s presence with us.
While we struggle with why things happen and why God lets some things happen, we can be encouraged by the fact God knows the big picture. Sometimes we don’t need to know everything, even though we want to know the reasons why. This is one of the hardest parts of being a pastor, “Why did God allow such and such to happen?” Any answer offered comes across as either trite or indicative of ignorance; Trust and Obey, all things work together for good, or I don’t know. We sometimes put our hope and trust in transient things, in mortal things, and when we feel betrayed or hurt by those things, we act surprised.
Our trust should be in God and God alone. God is the one who can get us through the ups and downs, the uncertainties, and who will be by our side in the midst of all the world throws at us. Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still, and know that I am God!” May we find our refuge in God who protects us from the storms of life, and is the creator of us all.