Psalm 46 (NRSV)
Verse 1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Verse 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
Verse 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
Verse 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
Verse 5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
Verse 6The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
Verse 7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Verse 8Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
Verse 9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
Verse 10"Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth."
Verse 11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
As I write, our national discourse seems like a roaring tumult, a crashing sea. Though I lean in one direction, I don’t really fit in either “camp.” I don’t want to speak. I don’t want to rock the boat. I don’t want to alienate. But I want to do the right thing. I want to respond to God’s call no matter the cost. The waves are not only around me, but within me. Where is my refuge? Where is my stronghold?
Here it is, in the Lord God who says to be still (or stop, or let it go). The Lord was a refuge for King David and for Martin Luther in even more tumultuous times. Why should I fear? I am called to spread God’s Kingdom here on earth in word and deed, as is the whole church. When confused and fearful, perhaps it’s best to retreat to the fortress, be still and know, let go of fear and anxiety and wait for direction. The enemy—who is left, right and all around—is overcome with truth and love.
O God my fortress and refuge, free me from fear and grant me courage and wisdom to speak and act in truth and love according to your will. Amen.