God is our refuge and strength,
a help always near in times of great trouble.
2 That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,
when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,
3 when its waters roar and rage,
when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.
When a storm begins to brew in the sky, and that first lightening bolt can be seen, I tend to get more scared then my peers. I’m very afraid of lightening. It’s a fear my mother instilled in me. As an adult, I’m still the one who’ll count “1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi” between the bolt and the crash. Every time it starts I think, “I won’t be afraid”, then inevitably I am. If I’m outside, I desperately want to get inside. If I’m inside, there’s nothing you can say that would bring me outside. That caution is good, but I definitely panic more than is necessary.
Once I’m inside, I’m okay. My cats on the other hand, think that the world is ending. They’ll press their noses up against the window, but it’s not the lightening that bothers them. It’s the thunder. Once that thunder hits, they’ll scatter and hide under the couch. And that’s just the fear of something different that they don’t understand, they don’t get that it can’t hurt them. Their instincts teach them to hide anyway.
I feel like when I read today’s text, it sounds a little like the Psalmist is afraid and is reminding themselves that they don’t want to be afraid. But let’s be honest, if the world began to fall apart, the mountains crumbled, and the waters began surging – we’d be scared. But the Psalmist here is reminding themselves of God’s holy comfort: “we won’t be afraid.”
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
What is your biggest fear? Spiders? Heights? How can remembering to invite God into that fear be helpful?
Prayer: God of Love, you are here with us no matter what. Even when we get scared. Even when we want to hide. Thank you, Lord. Amen.