Be still

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

The more I see what is going on in the world around me, the more I pay attention to the news, the shakier this world seems. All the things I trusted in, those things that seemed so solid, that I counted on as bulwarks against the evils of the world, those things are shaking. It feels like they are about to crumble.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

I believe in the city of God, I want to trust that she will never be shaken. But she is surrounded by the raging heathen. Am I safe in this world any more? The kingdoms that I looked to for protection seem to have been moved out of their former place, it feels like they are in league with the heathen.

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

I thought I was trusting in God. But have I trusted in Him alone? Or have I put my faith in the kingdoms, traditions, philosophies, institutions of this world? Have I deemed God to be merely the ultimate backup, or insurance, in case all else fails?

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

God calls me to be still. He wants to speak to me; He is speaking to me. But I can’t hear Him above all the clatter and chatter that is going on around me, and in my head. I need to give Him my full attention; I must accept that the clatter and chatter around me is just noise that has nothing useful to say, nothing that will help me find a safe way amid the threatening cacophony.

And when I finally hear what God is saying to me, I hear Him telling me that He wants me to give. I should not be so concerned about what I think I need to receive, it is the giving that matters.

[Words in red are from Psalm 40.]

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