-Psalm 46 – Grounding for uprooted and chaotic times

God is our refuge and strength,

a very present  help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult.


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

God will help it when the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.


Come, behold the works of the LORD;

see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations,

I am exalted in the earth.”

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

We cannot deny the suffering of the world.

Bombs are dropping. Refugees are fleeing. Economies are shaking. The earth is warming and the pandemic is still claiming lives. If we stop and absorb the full range of heartache facing humanity, we can easily find ourselves wandering in the wilderness, where among other things, temptation is lurking. Not even Jesus avoided the ‘time of trial’.

His temptation, and ours today, is to focus only on the immediate concern, to trust the power of fleeting empires, or risk everything to prove we (and our cause) are more righteous than others and therefore deserving of Divine favor.

Jesus avoided these temptations with the certainty of God’s word. That’s why I thought Psalm 46 might be important for us to have in our hearts today. This ancient song sings the promise that God is with us, no matter the chaos and disruption of the moment. This promise reassures and comforts us but it also empowers us to overcome the temptation to turn inward and instead turn outward to confront the trouble… together.

What does that look like?  Well I don’t have time to write that book today!  (And there would probably be more questions in it than answers anyway)  I actually just erased a whole line of thought about “blaming others” for rising gas prices and instead want to invite your thoughts.

If we are saved by grace, if God loves us as we are, if God is with us so that we do not have to be afraid, how might that empower us to change our own ways instead of simply blaming others?  How might the actions we take for the sake of others, even if it bring some temporary suffering, actually be better for “our self” in the long run?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us all continue to be diligent in praying for peace.