Storm Brewing? When You Need to Know God Is Our Refuge
Inside: When you need to know that God is our refuge. What storm is brewing in the distance? What ground in your life is dropping out from under your feet, no longer solid and firm? Is it pouring rain where you are? God has something to offer you!
Our family kayak trip had been scenic and refreshing, the sky blue, the water calm. Who knew how things would turn? We idly paddled upstream, spotting turtles sunning and dragonflies darting.
Our novice group zigzagged in the kayaks, sometimes accidentally slow-ramming each other, enjoying the relaxing afternoon. We portaged from the canal over to the bank of the river and grabbed an extra drink and snack. As the guide told stories of Civil War battles, a cluster of clouds rose up behind him. Oblivious to the building storm, he took his time spinning historical tales.
By the time we had navigated the eddy to the middle of the river that we were supposed to float down, it was clear this would be no relaxing float. “Paddle hard,” we were told, as we heard rumbling thunder, the adults quickly calculating the dangerous formula of lightning and water.
Isn’t that how it is with storms in our lives? The clouds may appear in the distance, and we might not think much of them, and then Bam. The storm hits, as if we were taken unaware. What once seemed solid drops out from under our feet.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
There’s something to that “very present” bit. While we are crying or fuming or trying our very best to get out of bed or attempting to keep a stiff upper lip, God is right there. Within reach. Close at hand. And not just present, but present in order to be our refuge and our strength.
“He helps presently, speedily, and effectually.” In the Hebrew text, “he is found an exceeding help in trouble” (from Gil’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).
We paddled hard through pounding rain, hearing thunder but being spared lightning. Behind me my niece and her other aunt belted out “In the eye of the storm,” their paddles keeping pace with the melody. Reaching shore brought the welcome relief of solid ground–muddy, wet, but solid.
I’m writing to myself this week. I hope it speaks to you, too.
What storm is brewing in the distance? What ground in your life is dropping out from under your feet, no longer solid and firm? Is it pouring rain where you are?
God stands at the ready: Actively let Him be your refuge and your strength.
Digging into God’s Word: God Is Our Refuge
I hope you will forgive this second digging into Psalm 46! You can find a previous series on this psalm here. Isn’t that like God to bring us back to themes we need to revisit with Him? Read the first three verses of Psalm 46 slowly, noticing the depth of the calamities and the faithfulness of our Lord.
Psalm 46:1-3 (ESV)
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
Digging Deeper: God Is Our Refuge
Take time to be quiet with the Lord, either now or throughout the week. You can journal about these questions and sing with the songs linked below.
1. When has God proven Himself as your refuge and strength in the past? If nothing specific comes to mind, ponder this question over time and see what God brings to mind for you.
2. How does it help you to know that God is a “very present help” in times of trouble?
3. What fears are you facing today, and how would you like to ask God to help with them? Actively ask God to be our refuge and strength.
As you sing with or listen to these songs, notice how praising God lifts your soul.
Eye of the Storm (Ryan Stevenson)
Everlasting God (Lincoln Brewster)
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