Psalm 46 is one of my favorite Psalms in the Bible. This chapter is a song of the sons of Korah from the Levitical priesthood. It exudes confidence in the security of God's people in spite of being in the middle of a threatening world. (See NIV note on Ps. 46-48). In the middle of war there is no better Word from the Lord than Psalm 461 - 3. "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 mountains quake with their surging." This is my go-to Psalm when I feel the earth moving under my feet. I think we have all had these times. For me these times include moments of being treated unjustly, moments of consternation for safety, and those seasons of losing loved ones we think we could never live without. Fortunately, these times have been short-lived in my life. When I have felt as though the world must stop turning- it seems to spinning continuously. How could I ever live life without my wonderful father? Yet, I just kept putting one foot in front of another. The people of God have been a source of encouragement for me during these times. This leads me to Psalm 46:4-7: "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall, he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." The picture above is of the Salt Plains Lake in Nescatunga, OK. It is a remote little place where one can escape from the world. I love the river (okay, it's a lake!) I was introduced to it by my dear friend, Jack Ewing. I loved sitting out by the lake and watching a spectacular sunset! There is definitely something special about sitting by the lake where the waves wash away the craziness of the world around. As I sat mesmerized by it's beauty and by it's very, unique peaceful, yet distinctive sounds of water churning against the shore, I could feel the closeness of God. It was in these moments that I sensed the Lord's presence. I knew He was with me even though fears of the future lurked around me. Though I have not been back to the lake much since Jack passed away, I still feel that closeness of God. I am reminded that He is with me no matter what. I can still pull away from the busyness of my life and experience that refuge. In today's world we all need to find that safe place, a place where we know that God is with us- even though the world around us seems to be in complete chaos.
As we look at the frightening realities in our world today, it is the best news to know that God is with us! There is horrible news at home and abroad - the war in Ukraine, the corruption in politics, inflation- especially rising gas prices and just every day items.. Still, God is on the throne! We see His beauty everywhere around us. We can rejoice when he says: "Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought in the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow, shatters the spear, and burns the chariots with fire!" (Psalm 46:8,9).
The best part of the psalm is found in verses 10, 11: "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted n the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." Wow! What a powerful message! We are so blessed to be the people of the Lord, if that is indeed who we are! Being a child of God protects us from the fears of the world and heartaches that could easily overpower us.
Psalm 46 is a passage for us anytime we are struggling with news of the war, the inequities and unfairness of laws against those who are oppressed. Laura Haviland, my heroine from the 19th century made her signature phrase, "Thine for the oppressed!" She took it upon herself to take this positive message of Good Trouble (See my 7 steps in my Underground Angel YouTube videos) around the world. Her life touched so many! This is exactly what I hope to do with my Underground Angel Ministry and what the Sarver Corporation is striving to accomplish by " "giving back to the communities where they serve.
Don't let the waves and the winds of the world around you pull you down. Keep looking up! Make it a priority to escape from the world around you and drink in the goodness of God, remembering to "Be Still and Know that I am God!" It is there we will all find renewed strength and hope to move forward in the future!
It is Day 16 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Please remember to pray for the people of Ukraine and give what you can! "Be still and know that He is God!"
Many blessings, Sheryl