God Our refuge
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” (Ps.46:1)
As I read this Psalm, I cannot help but be reminded of the devastation caused to the east coast of the United States by Hurricane Sandy. Many people lost their lives, numerous homes that have been flooded or destroyed, cars crushed by trees, and people left stranded. As Mother Nature continues to pelt the east coast, I look on at the destruction in both humility and awe. The ferocity of the storm had the dual effect of allowing me to reflect on my own mortality and on the extent of God’s power.
Since God is our refuge, we are not afraid: Matthew Henry states that this psalm was probably written during King David’s victories over neighboring nations. This psalm is not just meant to encourage the reader, but also witnesses the miraculous refuge of the Lord. The first verse states, in no uncertain terms, that God is our refuge. We need to spend some time in introspection – on whether the premise of this psalm is true in our life. What do we rely upon? What structures have we created to protect ourselves? The psalmist states that God is our strength and ever present help and therefore, we will not fear. Because God is our refuge – it is irrational to be afraid.
God is with us in our troubles: It is important to note that the psalmist does not state that God would not allow his people to go through trouble – but rather that he would be present in their trouble. Beyond the normal pain of our struggle, we always feel lonely. The loneliness is often just as painful as the crisis itself. It is at these moments that we must remember and sense God’s presence. In critical moments, we often run around trying to resolve the problem. Then at the point where we have over-exerted ourselves, exhausted every opportunity, and see no other course of action, then; we look upward. To all of us who are part of the “do-first and pray-later” generation – the psalmist gently reminds us to “Be still and know that He is God”. I think a lot of us in this generation struggle with being still and relying on God. We are hyper-connected yet strangely enough we are lonely. We have the latest technology, medicine, weapons, etc. but the world continues to be at the brink of some war somewhere
Let us re-focus on God. Let us assess what our refuge and fortress truly is. What a powerful phrase to “know that He is God”! Knowing that He is God undoubtedly puts us in His hands.
Prayer: Dear God, be our refuge and our fortress and our Prince of Peace. Amen