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
Oh, how often I have echoed the first verse of this psalm as I have prayed with others! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” This hymn of triumph begins with a proclamation concerning our relationship to God.
Darren was diagnosed with a very severe case of Guillian-Barre syndrome, a disease that totally weakens the muscle system. Darren endured six months of hospitalization. Our regular Thursday visits would end with a prayer request and conversation around that request. During this time, this verse from Psalm 46 became our life preserver. We prayed for daily refuge and daily strength. Eventually this verse changed from a plea to a voice of triumph as Darren slowly recovered: A voice of hope in a God who does not abandon us. A voice of hope in a God who works through medical care.
Lord God of Hope, sometimes we wait, and we wait to see any hope. Thank you for walking with us in our valleys of struggles. Help us to trust and rest in your presence. In Jesus Christ our Hope we pray, Amen.