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 the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1-3, NIV*
This is one of those classic comfort passages. I heard it read at a recent meeting, and it started my mornings for the next few days.
Part-way through the first day, an idea came to mind that really helped my outlook, and seeing these verses in print the next day showed me where it came from.
Yes, there is stress here. But God is here too.
God is “ever-present.”
I knew that. I really did.
“Therefore we will not fear…” Whatever may happen in the future.
I knew that too, although it’s a challenge, and I’m pretty good at reminding myself “Jesus will be there.”
But what about the present? Our family is in a moderately stressful season. I tend to over-focus and make it worse than it is (hence all these stress/gratitude posts… they’re what God is saying to me because they’re what I need to hear).
I’ve been hanging onto God, trusting Him to provide a solution. That’s good. But time is passing and I’m still stressed. I want to rest in Him, be at peace and anxiety-free in the waiting.
Intentional, relentless thanksgiving helps. So does praising God for who He is.
Still there are a lot of “moments.” Perhaps accepting that fact is a step on the journey.
I think I’ve been seeing my stress level as a sort of pass/fail in how well I’m trusting God. On one level, it is: am I serene in Christ, or panicking?
But real life is stressful. Noticing that fact isn’t failure. Remembering that God is in it with us is success.
Faithful God who promised to never leave us, God of mercy, love and justice who is mighty to save, teach us to rest in Your character and rely on Your presence. No matter what this moment holds. Or the next. Yes, there is stress. But You are here. Right now. With us. In that will we rest.
*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.