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, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
By human standards, it’s been a pretty rough week. Scarcely a month has passed since the awe inspiring display of the solar eclipse and the earth has been rocked by earthquakes and rolled by the enormous waves of not just one, but three major hurricanes in our hemisphere. Contrasting the high of gazing into the heavens, this week we are left with another gut wrenching low as we stand in disbelief at the level of destruction that has plagued our planet.
Although most of us were not immediately affected by these natural disasters, many watched in horror as the devastations played out live on cable television. There was an overall feeling of helplessness as I was driven to cry out to God for protection and relief for those in the path of the storms and in the epicenter of the quake.
For many, our disasters are not derived from nature, however they are equally devastating in our lives. The tragedies, calamities and catastrophes that plague us often come in as simple of form as a phone call or a routine physical. As instantly and unexpectedly as an earthquake or gradually and predictably like a hurricane, our lives can be shaken to the core with aftershock upon aftershock leaving us dazed and trembling in trouble, sorrow and pain. We stand in disbelief at the ruin and rubble that surround us wondering how we are going to put the pieces of our broken hearts and lives back together.
Where do we go when disaster strikes? What shelters us from the storms that rage through our existence? In the eye of the storm we need not despair. Like the writers of Psalm 46 declare: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Like King Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament when facing a vast army professed, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us….For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:9,12
Lord, in our desolation and disbelief, we confess we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you and on your Word.
- Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:2
- Let the morning bring me world of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8
- Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but fear not, I have overcome the world.” He also said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Let us comfort one another with these words.
His servant and yours,