We invite you to take a peek inside our Light for the Way devotional series. Each week we provide staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen ouur focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
By Chaplain Jenny Schroedel, Optage Hospice
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” — Psalm 46:1, 2, 6-7, 10, NIV
Well, 2021 is certainly proving to be something else. Watching the Capitol building get stormed earlier this month was not unlike the conditions described in Psalm 46. Our nation was in an uproar, and although the Kingdom did not exactly fall, it did seem to teeter at the edge for a few hours there.
Having already traveled together through the tumultuous waters of 2020, this all feels familiar. The ongoing pandemic never lets us forget how fragile we are. We see the fault lines and disparities everywhere. Psalm 46 reflects the historical instability of our world while also providing a lens on current events. So much catastrophe, in one short, little psalm.
But of course, this psalm is not about the instability of the world or its governments. It’s not about earthquakes or war or any other kind of calamity as much as it is about who God is – and who we are – and how we might live differently in that knowledge.
God is our refuge, our strength, our help in trouble. We can look around us and be disoriented and dismayed or we can look toward God and be strengthened and encouraged.
Perhaps the mountains will fall into the heart of the sea. There is no guarantee against that. Nations may tumble, and chaos may ensue. But God calls to us through it all, meeting us where we are, asking us to "be still and know that I am God."
God is our stable place in a tilting world, our ever-present help in trouble. So today, take a few moments and quiet yourself. Be still. Know God. Sink into that stillness and let it sink into you. Even if the earth around you trembles, do not be afraid. God will not let you fall. God will steady you through it all.
More selected devotionals in the Light for the Way series:
'Come and see' - an invitation to pray for Christian unity
Going bigger with God: recovering from small stories
Living in the unknown - finding hope in the future
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series
In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care website.