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Be Still…


Like many of the men in this part of the world, I’m not great at expressing my feelings. My father died about 6 years ago, and I well remember the strange mixture of emotions that followed that event. For a few moments I was alone with my thoughts, and in that short period of time everything seemed surreal and different. I was standing in one of the stairwells in the Ulster Hospital, watching the weak winter morning daylight spread across Dundonald, while down below me on the busy Newtownards Road the traffic was slowing down as the usual rush hour drive to work started. It was an unusual mixture of feelings. Life had taken an irrevocable turn, and yet all around, everyone else went about their everyday business. At times like that it can be hard to sort out those feelings and emotions, as we begin to take in the inescapable fact that some parts of life are just simply outside our control.

For those of us who have a personal faith in God and have been brought by Him into a relationship with His Son Jesus, there is an understanding that He is always close to us, even when difficult days come along, and that He is always honouring His promise never to leave us or to forsake us. So my coping mechanism when I’m upset, or stressed or worried is to turn to Him through His word to us, the Bible, where God gives us help to deal with the stresses of life. I find the psalms are particularly helpful.

It was in Psalm 46 that I received help from the Lord on that sad occasion. ‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.’ The psalmist goes on to use poetic language to describe the kind of trouble we often experience in life. He talks about the earth being removed and the mountains falling into the sea. He pictures the waters roaring so violently that the mountains shake with its motion. He’s trying to depict for us a time of great upheaval and distress, a time of trouble and turmoil. And in the midst of our distresses he urges us to listen to be calm and trust him, saying ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Let’s pause in the midst of our worry and turmoil, and realise that there is a God who is far greater than we are, and to simply trust him, whatever happens.

Even when the whole world around us seems to be crumbling, God is our refuge, and our hiding place, our comfort and our strength.

From → Encouragement

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