Psalm 46 (CSB):
“God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.
Therefore we will not be afraid,
though the earth trembles
and the mountains topple
into the depths of the seas,
though its water roars and foams
and the mountains quake with its turmoil.Selah
There is a river—
its streams delight the city of God,
the holy dwelling place of the Most High.
God is within her; she will not be toppled.
God will help her when the morning dawns.
Nations rage, kingdoms topple;
the earth melts when he lifts his voice.
The Lord of Armies is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.Selah
Come, see the works of the Lord,
who brings devastation on the earth.
He makes wars cease throughout the earth.
He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces;
he sets wagons ablaze.
‘Stop your fighting, and know that I am God,
exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.’
The Lord of Armies is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.Selah”
In times such as these, this Psalm has been such a great comfort to me. It’s so easy in this time to feel really distant from God as the world battles against this pandemic, but the truth of the matter is that God is fighting the battle on our behalf: He is the Lord of Armies and He is “a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” This is who God is and despite the chaotic state of our world, this fact has not changed.
I find it imperative to say that it is more than okay to be afraid right now. As someone who has struggled with mental health for many years, this season has brought up a great wave of anxiety and habits I thought I had moved on from. My guess is, mental health history or not, many of you may be experiencing similar thoughts and emotions right now. And may I just admit, dismissing these feelings is not as simple as it seems; so if you are feeling stuck, please know you are in good company.
The verse in this Psalm that has been especially on my heart is verse 10 which says:
“‘Stop your fighting, and know that I am God’”
Other translations read:
“‘Be still, and know that I am God’”
If I’m honest, it seems like for most of this pandemic this has been the only thing I’ve felt capable of doing: being still. I used to read this verse in terms of stillness being a posture to step into, yet in this case it feels like my fear has paralyzed me still. As my battle with anxiety has risen, I have more often than not felt completely stuck. However, what is so beautiful about this verse, is that God is not necessarily calling us to action here, He just asks that we remain in this still state and remember who He is. He doesn’t need anything from us, we all have an invitation to come by the grace of God through Jesus Christ to rest at the feet of our Savior. He is our refuge, He is our strength, He our helper who is always found in times of trouble, He is our stronghold, and He is working everything together for our good. That is who He is and He is our only true source of peace.
God is meeting us in our anxiety, so we need not try to hide it or tuck it away because He sees it in us and His heart is breaking. He is in the stillness of our fear. It is my prayer in this season where the majority of our lives are out of our control, that we may call to mind the character of the Father and know that He has not changed and He will not change.
As many distractions as I have tried to compile into my days in effort to hide out from the realities outside of my window, everytime they fail me. Every time, I am left with this pit in my stomach because they aren’t sufficient places of refuge. As this Psalm reminds us, God is our refuge and strength. No matter where we find ourselves in these next few months, may we remember the One who is fighting on our behalf and holding us all the way. He is nearer than our very breath, He has not abandoned us.
Be still and know.