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An Ever-Present Help


Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


I’ve been feeling ill at ease lately. Try as I might avoid the news, I’m compelled to read and watch. It’s with the same ill at ease feeling that can come when driving past a horrific accident on the highway. I know I’m slowing down traffic and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the situation, but I still rubberneck. I wonder what happened. I pray for the people involved, that no one is hurt even if the scene implies otherwise. I watch what’s happening, whether it’s officers, firefighters, or emergency medical paramedics on the scene. I shouldn’t watch; I should just go on with my day. The news is like that for me right now as we head into next week’s inauguration of the Biden-Harris administration.


If life was normal, as in the pandemic was gone and there was no insurrection at the Capital last week, I imagine living as close to Washington D.C. as we do going to the inauguration. I imagine tailgating it, so the kids remain asleep strapped into their car seats while we watch the scene from the front seats. Even if we stayed in the car, being there would’ve been an experience. I’ve never been to an inauguration. It could be a moment I point to when the kids are older, saying, “You may not remember it, but you were there for the Biden-Harris presidential inauguration.


Instead, life is turbulent. The events on January 6th shook something inside of me, and I fear for the stability of our nation. Even if all goes according to plan, as in the inauguration proceeds without incident, something cataclysmic bubbled to the surface in America. I’m the type of person who believes in norms, systems, and processes. I believe in the rules of order. January 6th was a violation of those rules. I condemn the actions of all involved.


I read the Bible for comfort, whether I crave comfort because of personal challenges or troubles in the world at large. When the world is topsy-turvy, I find words of solace in its pages. I found it in Psalm 46.


1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.


God is always an ever-present help in trouble, whether you reach out to Him or not. He is always there.


2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.


Even in the face of natural disasters, God says do not fear, He is always there.


4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.


God is within the city. God will protect her from those who wish to tear her down.


6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.


Even in the face of political dissonance, strife, and rebellion, God is always there.


7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


God is always there.


8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.


God is aware of the troubles in the world, whether it’s war, political or economic troubles, or anything else. God knows, and He is always there. There has always been war and other troubles and God has always been there.


10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


In the midst of all the troubles of the world, God is there. He is always there.


We may be living through troubled times, but God is there. He is always there.

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