Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam,though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
In the past week we have been biesiged with news and picture of storms. The horrific super typhoon that hit the Philippines and just this week here in the United States stories of tornadoes ripping through the Midwest. Theres even talk of a Thanksgiving Day snow storm hitting the east coast as well. Of course its not only physical weather storms that are around us. We read the newspapers or we hear the news and we are reminded that other types of storms are prevalent as well. Regardless of which side you are on in regards to Obamacare it is a storm. Then you hear of people losing their jobs and wars going on around the globe. Storms are everywhere, even on a personal level. Our local high school was on lockdown and the students were eventually dismissed early because of a bomb threat. Storms are raging.
So what is the answer to the storms? Where do we go to find shelter in the midst of the storms? The psalmist boldly declares the answer for us, “God is our refuge and our strength a present help in times of trouble.” In other words God is our refuge in the storm. He is our strength, He is what we can depend on.
I cannot read Psalm 46 wihout thinking of the scene from the Gospels in which Jesus calms the storm. The winds and thunder are raging and the disciples of Jesus are extremely fearful. They think the boat is going to capsize. They fear the worst, and as the look around in desperation for help they realize something. Jesus is not with them. Where is He? I can only imagine them frantically looking around, desperately searching for Jesus. He isn’t missing they just can’t see Him. Where is He? Down in the boat, sleeping. Sleeping in the midst of the storm! How dare He do that. “Jesus don’t you care?” The disciples fearfully cry. Jesus just shakes His head and with a word calms the storm.The disciples learn something that day, Jesus is God come in the flesh. He had to be or He couldn’t have calmed the storm and they learned that God doesn’t work on our timetables. They also began to learn the value of trust. Trust in the good times and trust in the storms. I fear for many of us that is hard to learn.
We can acknowledge that Jesus is God and we know that sometimes God doesn’t work on our timetables. We have learned those things but to learn to trust in the midst of the storms is hard isn’t it? Yet if we are going to find refuge in the midst of the storms, we must trust. We must trust Him if we are going to run to Him as our refuge.Trust is hard, excruciatingly hard in the storms of life. But if we are going to have peace, if we are going to find a refuge in the midst of the storm we must trust the refuge. Like a young child trusts its father we must learn to trust God.
The other evening our middle son who is 5 did something that terrified our 9 month old and he began to cry and to wail. I came running and as soon as he saw me, with tears running down his face he began to frantically reach for me. It was a daddy come get me, be my refuge, save me. He had no idea what had happened but he knew he needed someone to hold him, to love him, and to assure him that he was ok. In the storms of life we need that to. We may not know what is going on and in reality we may not even know how desperate of a situation we are in, all we know is that we need a refuge. Someone to hold us, to love us, and to assure us.
I’m reminded of the words of the late-great Rich Mullins: “Hold me Jesus for I’m shaking like a leaf You have been King of my glory Won’t You be my Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah puts it this way in Isaiah 9, “for unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The psalmist describing the same person says,”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,…..” In other words even if the world ultimately falls apart we have one we can run to. A refuge, whose name is Jesus, the Prince of Peace. To God be the glory!