An Ever-Present Help
God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. And so we need not fear even if the world blows up, and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam, let the mountains tremble!
There is a river of joy flowing through the City of God - the sacred home of the God above all gods. God himself is living in that City; therefore it stands unmoved despite the turmoil everywhere. He will not delay his help. The nations rant and rave in anger - but when God speaks, the earth melts in submission and kingdoms totter into ruin.
The Commander of the armies of heaven is here among us. He, the God of Jacob, has come to rescue us.
Come, see the glorious things that out God does, how he brings ruin upon the world, and causes wars to end throughout the earth, breaking and burning every weapon. "Stand silent! Know that I an God! I will be honored by every nation in the world!"
The Commander of the heavenly armies is here among us! He, the God of Jacob, has come to rescue us! Psalm 46 (NRSV)
Al Trucano lived in Nebraska. His part of the country had experienced many destructive storms during one summer. They often brought large hail - sometimes as big as baseballs - that would crash through windshields of cars, destroy crops and buildings, and even kill the livestock. The psalmist, seeking to bring courage and hope to God's suffering people, wrote about such destruction.
As we read the verses of Psalm 46, we can be comforted through the many storms we have experienced. When we see entire houses destroyed and businesses blown apart by the weather, we begin to realize how vulnerable we are. So we turn to God for strength in the midst of our weakness and fear.
When we turn to God in the face of storms of any kind, we can find our faith deepened and realize we are not alone. God, "our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble," is the one who causes fear to dissipate and gives us courage to forge ahead through every adversity we may face.
Prayer: God of eternity, open our eyes to see that you are nearer than we can imagine, closer than a friend or brother, in Jesus' name, amen.