Have you ever been in an earthquake? I have. A few minor ones here in Toronto. That strange, oscillating, movement of a foundation that is usually solid and dependable, messes with you. It makes your body betray you. It radiates a signal that sends your nervous system into a panic.
Have you ever seen a tornado, up close and personal? I have. I was in a security trailer, at Sheppard and Weston, as I watched a tornado rip a bus shelter out of its concrete anchors (I never did see where it deposited it). I saw it rip the roof off a factory building directly across from me, like it was the perforated cardboard top off a Kleenex box. All this happened as close as 50 metres from my not-so-secure location.
Some things we experience make our legs feel wobbly and our world feel wobblier still. Like, for example, mountains quaking and falling into the heart of the sea and the tsunami that follows. (Psalm 46:2-3).
This is not the stuff we normally experience. This isn’t the kind of thing we have reference points for that help us file our experiences under the “Not to worry, I’ve seen this before!” category.
Well, it wouldn’t surprise me if we all had wobbly legs right now. I know that I, at least, do. It all boils down to not having a category to file all the rapid-fire, shifting, quaking flood of changes and information that both surrounds and isolates us. It is all a bit overwhelming, isn’t it?
But here’s the thing: I don’t have to have a category to file my experience, if I can find a shelter that is categorical (uncompromising) in its consistent relief from fear and anxiety. If I have a solid foundation, I don’t have to worry about my legs being a little wobbly right now! I can still move forward and make progress.
Going back to Psalm 46, the writer reveals that categorical shelter. We have that definite, clear-cut, unconditional, uncompromising place of safety, in the middle of earth-shattering, mountain-toppling, sea-swelling situations.
The Psalmist writes: “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)
Yahweh is our refuge and strength. Jesus is our ever-present help in trouble. Think of those three descriptions: “refuge”, “strength”, “ever-present help.” What more do we need in this moment? God is your one-stop shop for relief from whatever is making you wobbly.
In verses 10-11, the Psalmist writes that Yahweh says: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Here is the message we all need to hear. “Be still and know that I am God!” Stop wobbling. Stop fretting. Stop freaking. Stop obsessing. Stop lamenting that your plans, routines, and lives are on hold.
Instead of thinking of the inconvenience and the uncertainty of this moment, realize something very important: You have been forced to “be still.” You have more time to stop and think and reassess and consider than you probably ever have before, at least in your adult life. What are you going to do with this imposed stillness? Are you going to use it or waste it? The Lord can only be our fortress (our place of strength and safety) if we stop what we are doing and focus on not only knowing there is a God, but, more importantly, knowing that He is YOUR God. He needs to be YOUR strength, YOUR refuge, YOUR ever-present help.
If your legs are all wobbly-like, why not sit down, be still and see, ask, seek, pray, and read the Bible? If I can help you in finding your own place of stillness, let me know.
I am so
thankful for Jesus my ever-present help in times of trouble. He is indeed my refuge and my strength.