Ephesians 1:18-20 and Psalm 46
Something has happened in my brain these days that I can’t easily explain. I can sheepishly admit how as a global worker living on foreign soil, I ignored the rhetoric in the United States. News cycles would come and go, and I never felt the need to engage much either intellectually or emotionally, knowing something shinier would appear tomorrow and my caring about today’s shiny object would have become a moot point. In the age of COVID-19, however, I have changed my tune and suddenly care too much about the numbers, the current forecasts and models, and what the experts communicate to us. Cable news channels seem to pinpoint and repeat whatever terrible situations have happened in the last 24 hours, and then the commentators rehash the details ad infinitum. I am critical because I am confused and weary. My soul needs a break.
Thus Psalm 46:1 begins, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (NIV). There is trouble, heartache, and residual effects of “mountains falling into the sea” currently rocking our world. The earth feels shaky, especially for my Croatian brothers and sisters who are still trembling from the tremors of the last earthquake. And yet in the midst of this mess, the Psalmist reminds us a few verses later, in what feels like a non-sequitur, that there is a river flowing through the city of God that is beautiful and peaceful. The King of the Universe (a non-elected official, I might add) sits on His throne and all is well. Yes, the nations are roaring, but He invites me to “Be still. Know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted among the whole earth” (Psalm 46:10, author’s paraphrase).
My present and my future rest in a God who hung the stars in place, who spoke the world into being, who keeps it twirling on its axis. He watches over the sparrows, He numbers our hairs, He went to a cross and rose from the grave. He is above all rule and authority, and He is over everything (Ephesians 1:18-20). I can, therefore, be still and cease trying to use my knowledge of the situation to act as a shield from pain. I can trust Him in health, in politics, in climate change, in today’s news and tomorrow’s circumstances. This is my reality. This is the truth, and this is where my hope lies. First Chronicles 16:31 proclaims, “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns’” (NIV).
ACTION: How do you feel like the earth is shaking under your feet? Are there spaces in your life where you need to take refuge? In what ways might you respond to the invitation to “be still and know” that He is God?
Prayer: Thank you that you are King and ruler of my heart. You are my refuge, the rock that stands when all other ground is sinking sand. To you belong all power and glory. No matter how much the earth is shaking, I will trust you.
If you have time, listen to this song, “All Shall Be Well,” and let your heart meditate on why all will be well.