In this challenging time of uncertainty and fear, where are you turning for refuge, strength, and help? Each of us has a go-to that we believe will provide us solace. We seek the next deal, a strong balance sheet, an appreciating market account, a profitable income statement, a steady paycheck, a performance recap that moves up and to the right, excellent health, victory in competition, achievement, a social gathering, a sporting event, a concert, a vacation, or even a live church service. However, when it all comes to a screeching halt with very little warning, and circumstances are beyond our control, we risk panic, driven by fear, the most contagious virus of all. If we seek our strength from anything apart from God Himself, we end up worried, anxious, and afraid, feeling insignificant, out of control, insecure, and discontent. The writers of Scripture knew a great deal about the stress of trying times. That’s why the psalmist penned: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). As Christ-followers, we want to believe this verse to be true, but when the never-before-seen international storms of life come upon us, we discover whether we truly believe.
The psalmist continued as if he were writing about today’s scene of events: “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 46:2-3). Regardless of the circumstances, our Creator offers us continual hope and joy: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells” (Psalm 46:4). Intimacy with Him is our solace and assurance: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day” (Psalm 46:5).
The psalmist’s words are applicable to our current pandemic: “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts” (Psalm 46:6). God has not abandoned us. He is close to each one of us, protecting our lives, providing our every breath: “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:7).
God always wins. He always has the final say. He fulfills every one of His promises. Even in our physical death, God takes us home to be with Him for eternity. No one can fathom His omnipotence: “Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire” (Psalm 46:8-9). God will defeat every virus. He will conquer every fear with faith.
The Almighty has a message for each one of us: “‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth'” (Psalm 46:10). In essence, God is saying, “Don’t panic. Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid. Relax, let go, and experience intimacy with Me. You can trust Me. I Am who I say I Am.”
Today, more than ever, when we need refuge, strength, and help. We must remember: “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:11). Only God provides security in the storm, clarity piercing the confusion, confidence in spite of the catastrophe, peace during the pandemic, calm amidst the chaos.
This week, pursue intimacy with God by praying specifically for those who are critically ill. Make your muscles move with your prayers by helping someone in need. Share a scarce resource. Make a grocery run for an elderly neighbor. Spend quality time with those you love and connect with family and friends in other communities through a video chat. Our technology-rich society has made face-to-face encounters a rarity. In this season, we can hit the pause button on the busyness of life and experience rich relationships. Play a game, immerse yourself in a novel or biography, watch an inspirational movie, workout, go for a walk, cook a new recipe, write that book God has placed on your heart, read the Bible, listen to a new worship song, and memorize your favorite verse from Psalm 46, reciting it each day, as you experience God’s calm amidst the chaos.