July 15, 2013
Pause and Breathe
"So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea." Psalm 46:2 (NLT)
Recently as I was waiting to board a plane, I felt a little twinge of anxiety.
I looked tentatively at the other passengers at the gate, wondering if any posed a threat. I found myself reading their faces, looking at their carry-on bags and speculating if anything dangerous might have slipped through.
You see, the horrific events of previous months were heavy on my heart. My mind had been filled with school shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, massive floods in the Southwest, the plant explosion in Texas, tornados, and tragedies overseas. As the news broadcasts so many calamities, innocent lives lost and people injured, it's easy to harbor fear and wonder: What's happening to our world? Why are people so evil? Can we ever feel safe?
In that airport terminal, my mind was on the verge of drifting to a thousand what-ifs and whys when I remembered God's promise in Psalm 46. As I allowed His truth to sink in, I paused to take comfort in the fact that there was no need to fear, because no matter what, God is with us.
Verses 1-3 assure us that "God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!" Interlude
God is our Protector. He is where we find strength to get through tough times when we are afraid. When the earth crumbles, floods abound, avalanches roar, tornados threaten—He is our refuge.
Yet, sometimes in the face of tragedy and heartache, we question God, doubting His promise of protection. Although God does have the authority and ability to protect us from every trouble, sometimes He uses the trials we go through to teach us, purify us and draw us closer to Him. Although at times it may seem that God has not protected us in the way we need or desire, we can rest in knowing that He is protecting us in the way He knows is best for us to learn to fully depend on God.
Psalm 46:4-7 says, "A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God's voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven's Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress." Interlude
While I love the ocean, I don't long to dig my toes in the shorelines when there's a storm. But I wouldn't mind sitting on the banks of a peaceful river, even during a rainstorm. Just like the calm, flowing waters of a river, God weaves His peace and provision throughout our lives even in chaos.
Psalm 46:8-11 says, "Come, see the glorious works of the LORD: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. The Lord of Heaven's Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress." Interlude
Although the world is in disarray, God is still God. He is still on the throne. Still mighty. Still faithful. Still sovereign.
In all three sections in this passage, each one ends with the word Interlude. The definition of interlude is to pause, break, breathing space, or rest.
When we pause to focus on the truth that God is God, we find rest.
If fear has been creeping into your heart lately, pause and remember that God is your protector; His presence is with you, and He is in the highest position of authority over this broken world. Ask Him to settle the anxiousness in your heart. Then, just breathe.
Dear Lord, thank You for being a safe place to flee, for always providing peace in the face of anxieties. Fill us with joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell
Reflect and Respond:
Consider what fears, whether valid or imagined, have been burdening your heart lately. Search God's Word for a verse that specifically addresses that fear(s).
John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (NIV)
© 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 15 July 2013.