Wednesday, February 11, 2015

calm or chaos?

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
Psalm 46:1-3

The poetry describing the emotional chaos of life experiences is spot on. There are seasons when life feels totally uncertain. The ground seems unstable. Everything that once was certain feels unsure. The earth we stand upon shakes or falls away unexpectedly like a crumbling river bank at a raging flood stage. An angry, foaming torrent seems to swirl all around us as we feel ourselves going under in the cold water. Fear, panic, and despair are the marks of our souls.

But this psalm reminds us we can find a calm center in the chaos. God is a refuge and strength. He is there to help us in our days of trouble. The mountains may move, but God is our security. He is present, just a prayer away. And that stabilizing truth can change us. He can still the thrashing waves with His command: "Peace! Be still!" He can place us back on solid ground beside Him.

I am in the midst of a tumultuous season of tears. Change is all I see. What I once took for granted is falling away. Sandwiched as I am now in middle age responsibilities over which I have no control, I hurt to see a generation older than I am suffering physically. I hurt to see the generation below me in confusion and pain as God's wisdom is often unheeded. And I look into my own heart and feel for the pain of sin's consequences personally and as I bear burdens of other hurting people in the Body of Christ. The river banks are falling into the raging flood. I can't escape getting carried away in the drowning swell.

Yet I see Jesus, the calm Savior Who once walked across the stormy sea to His fearful followers, and somehow I know by faith that He is still here to bring me peace. He did not calm the storm when He beckoned for Peter to join Him on the waves. And He also bids me come to join Him in the storm. That is why I must trust Him. If I look at the waves, I'm sunk. I cannot calm the storm nor stand on crashing waves. But Jesus can.

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