God will be there with us in the storms of life

Published 8:50 am Friday, July 2, 2010

In Psalm 46 the psalmist writes that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” As the psalm continues, it is important to note that there is no promise that the people of God will not face times of storm in life. The promise rather is that God will be there with us in the midst of trials and difficulties in life.

The last two weeks have been filled with some very strong storms of nature. The path of destruction has roamed far and wide. Often the question of “why?” is asked. Yet, the more appropriate question might be “why not?” There is no reason for any of us to assume that we will be spared every storm of life simply because we believe. We are all part of a fallen and broken world subject to its vagaries and quirks. Even with the latest in scientific tools and equipment, storms such as this area has experienced are filled with surprises both fortunate and destructive.

As the prophet Elijah experienced on the mountain, it was not in the storm and all of its power and might that God was experienced. For Elijah it was in the quite stillness that followed that God’s presence was made known. Many who went through these storms experienced a similar thing when in the comparative stillness that followed the storms they experienced God’s presence in the caring and helping hands of friends and family. God was present in real and concrete ways as people cared for one another.

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The psalmist’s refrain assures us that “the Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Though storms may rage yet we are not abandoned. Though it might seem that the powers and forces of this world will overcome us, yet there is the continuing promise that it is God who will be victorious for all of God’s people. Martin Luther used this psalm as the basis for the well known Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” In the words of that hymn, Luther assures us that though all that we value and hold dear in this life might be taken from us, the forces at work against us cannot win the day, for that belongs to God.

The psalmist ends with these words of encouragement, “Be still, then, and know that I am God.” In the midst of whatever storms might assail us in life, it is important for us to hear those words today and in every day as well. Be still and know that God is God.