1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.Psalm 46:1-3
Do you feel as if the rug has been pulled from under your feet and the earth has given way in these last few weeks?
Have you lost your job? A job that was your reason for getting out of bed every day. A job that not just paid the bills but was your source of self-worth?
Or have your exams been cancelled? Exams that you have worked towards for the last year or maybe even two. How will your future prospects be decided now?
Perhaps you are not allowed to spend time with dearly loved friends or family members. You miss the conversation and familiar hug. Maybe you are totally isolated and your only contact with others is at the end of the telephone.
All these things and many more have been stripped away in less than a month. All of us it seems have lost something. So how will we cope? Will we sink into despair as we listen daily to coronavirus updates and mourn what we have lost? Or, will we look for answers somewhere else?
The writer of Psalm 46 probably did not face the same problems that we have. However, he did have troubles and he did understand what it felt like to have ‘the earth give way’. His solution was to realise who and what God is. He ‘is our refuge and strength’. At this time when we have lost so much we still have a place of refuge. We have somewhere to go when anxiety overwhelms us. We have a place of safety when we waken during the night and cannot get the worry of what the future holds out of our minds. We have a safe haven to go to when we listen to the death toll in our own land and throughout the world. We turn our eyes to God, our God who is ’ever-present’ and repeat these words over and over ‘you are my refuge ‘. He is always with us, even when we are isolated from everything and everyone.
When we turn to God in this way we no longer need to fear anything. When the unbelievable happens; when ‘the mountains fall into the heart of the sea’ or the life of comfort that we have been used to for so long is taken from us we do not need to live in fear. We can still find refuge in Him.
Now, when some of us have more time on our hands, let’s try to discover who God is. A God who isn’t just there to keep us in the lifestyle that we have been accustomed to but instead a God who ‘is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’.
Prayer Father we praise you for who you are. You are our refuge and strength. We thank you that at all times we can take refuge in you. Help us to look to you for refuge not just in times of trouble but at all times because you are always with us. In these anxious times please be our place of peace and safety. Enable us to turn aside from all that preoccupies us and instead turn our thoughts towards you. Amen
Other reflections from Moneydig Presbyterian Church
By Julia Morrow