Have you ever felt like your world was shaking, maybe even crumbling, around you? I say “your world” and not “the world” because it’s not actually the whole world, just your whole world. Which is a very different thing because you can feel quite alone when it’s only “your world.” If it were, indeed, the whole world then at least you’d have some company.
I think most of us have been there, or are there right now. It’s part of living in a broken place. Illness, division, pain, separation, heartbreak, sin—and its aftermath. There is so much going on around us, it can be overwhelming within us.
As I was reading Psalm 46, I felt as though the author understood all of this, saying things like, “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…” Sounds to me like their world is crashing down on them, too.
And yet, there is hope. Though there is chaos, calamity, and fearmongering encroaching and encamping all around us, we have this very present help in the midst of our trouble: God. And he makes us glad because he is in our midst. He promises to help us as each morning dawns. We are not, in fact, alone.
All, Nothing, and Everything In Between
Years ago, my father-in-law was preaching a sermon, and I’m not sure if he was quoting someone or if they were his own words, but he said something that caused a paradigm-shift in my mind. He said, “God doesn’t think in degrees of difficulty the way we do.”
I have heard “all things are possible with God” and “nothing is impossible with God” before, but I had never heard it put this way…in regard to the in-between things. And there are a lot of things in between all and nothing…but not one of them is any more or less difficult for God. Therefore, no thing (insert: person, situation, etc.) is any more or less difficult than another for God.
In fact, Psalm 46 says that all God must do is utter his voice and the earth melts. By the power of his spoken word, he created the very earth we live in. With a single breath he brought man to life from dust—dust! Doesn’t that make you want to hang on every word he says?
Psalm 46 also calls him the LORD of hosts twice. It’s a title I would normally gloss over, but the fact that it’s written twice in only 11 verses made me pause and wonder. A quick search led me to find that it means he is the Lord over earthly and heavenly armies. Heavenly armies—I rarely consider those.
I know that God is in control of all things, but I hardly ever think about the fact that there is much going on around me that I cannot see. And yet, he has unlimited, unseen resources at his disposal, which also hang on every word he says. Resources he directs with a mere utterance. “He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire” (Psalm 46:9).
Isaiah 54:16-17 tells us that even the blacksmith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon to use against us was created by God, and that no weapon fashioned against the servants of the Lord shall prevail. Psalm 24:1 says that the whole world and all people and things that dwell within it are the Lord’s. He is in control of all things, good, bad, and everything in between. And the blessed hope for those who believe is that he works all of it together for our good and his glory (Romans 8:28).
God is unshaken when we cannot stand. He is in control when it feels like we have none over our crumbling world.
I Believe; Help My Unbelief
So, with a God who has power and dominion far beyond my wildest dreams, what am I to do? I’m seeking him and asking him to show himself within my midst. I want to see evidence of his presence and help within my little world—because he cares for me. I’m asking for him to unveil my earthly, mortal eyes to be able to see his unmatched authority working on my behalf. Which sounds audacious, I know. And it would be unbelievably inappropriate for me to ask him of this if I didn’t trust and believe that his Son, Jesus, was my Savior. But Jesus did live and die and rise again so that I can ask, and so I do.
Father, thank you for being a very present help in my times of trouble, even when I don’t notice. Would you give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and faith to believe that you are more involved in my life than I could dare to imagine? Would you, even today, give me a glimpse of your strong arm and kind hand reaching out to me? Would you wipe my tears and soothe my soul with your presence. Thank you for Jesus, who has given me access to you and favor with you. I believe; help my unbelief.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
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