Scripture: Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Observation: Two things strike me from the passage this morning. First, my bible says that the Hebrew words translated here as “very present” can also mean “well proved”. In other words, God isn’t just present now, but has demonstrated his presence in the midst of trouble over and over again.
Secondly there’s, “though the earth should change, though the mountains shake”. It’s an image of instability, of turmoil, like an earthquake.
Application: I don’t think the psalmist was writing about literal earthquakes. More likely he was referring to events that rocked his world. I find myself this morning wrestling, not with big earth-shattering changes as the psalmist intimates, but with multiple smaller ones.
I’ve mentioned going to an old friend’s funeral last week – a former college roommate. He died young, but I realize I’m getting into a season of life when funerals of my contemporaries will become more common. It’s not unheard of for people to die in their 50s, even in this day and age. Stephen was 51.
While I was in my former hometown for the funeral I visited my parents. They’re getting older and more frail for sure. It’s one of the reasons we moved back to Texas from North Carolina. Many of you know from experience that coming alongside aging parents, helping them make difficult decisions, is hard indeed. It’s like the roles of parents and children begin to reverse. Feels strange.
Then of course my own children are getting older. In this case it’s mostly a blessing as they begin their adult lives, or at least leave home for the first time. But it means the patterns of my own life established over 25 years are changing. I suppose this is the epitome of “mid-life”. I wouldn’t call it a crisis, but it is a game-changer. I’m not sure what life will look like once I adjust.
So as I dwell in the midst of so many questions with so few answers I feel a bit adrift on the inside. Unmoored. Unhinged. Displaced. At the same time I take comfort as I read “God is our refuge and strength…”. When so much is changing, God does not change. My place as a child of God through Jesus Christ does not change. And my heart is grateful this morning.
Prayer: Gracious God, today I pray for myself and all those feeling a bit adrift in life. Give us grace to call upon you, our Refuge and Strength. Amen.