“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.”
If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that nothing stays the same forever. July always seems to be a season of shifts and changes – a time of goodbyes and new beginnings, especially for children. Changing classes. Changing schools. Leaving Primary School. Leaving school forever. This world is ever moving – ever changing. Who can stop the hands of time from turning?
Only this week, my daughter Grace was faced with this fact when some of her older friends graduated from one our church youth clubs. She felt a sudden pang of sadness as she was suddenly faced with a stark reality – change is unstoppable, and that sometimes, the people we care deeply about, move on.
“Though the earth should change, and though the mountains should slip into the heart of the sea“.
I used to think this verse was metaphoric. But recently I watched a David Attenborough Documentary called Frozen Planet. It showed how climate change is starting to affect our world. Great mountains of ice in the Polar Ice-Cap regions are literally melting and slipping into the sea as we speak.
Climate change. Floods, earthquakes, land-slides. Sometimes I get nervous just turning on the news! The world seems to be changing so quickly. Just this week we have all been rocked by news of the tragic plane crash over the Ukraine. There is unrest all around the world, with attention at the moment on Israel and Iraq. Distressing events unfolding day after day. Peoples lives suddenly cut short in an instant. Such events can strike our hearts with fear and terror.
But…take heart! “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble”. A refuge is a place of shelter, a fortified tower, a safe haven.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe“. Prov 18:10
Where do we run to when change comes a’calling and our hearts faint within us? We run to God our rock – the only place of stability in an unstable world. He is a very present help in times of trouble. This verse makes me smile. You would think that someone could either be present or not present, wouldn’t you? But God is VERY present! To me that says that He isn’t just a by-stander. He isn’t just an eye-witness standing in the wings. He is not distant, detached, standing idly by, watching our lives play out. He is involved!
I sent this verse to my lovely cousin Michael this morning, who in the last few days was suddenly faced with enormous change in the shape of a triple heart bypass operation. I could almost picture God in the operating theatre with His sleeves rolled up! There is nowhere we can go to escape His presence! Even when we are under the Surgeon’s knife, God is with us!
God is also with my husband’s family who are currently facing the enormous change of emigrating to Texas. They are currently in the process of packing up their whole life in boxes. Saying goodbye to family, friends and loved ones and experiencing the wrench of leaving schools and home and church, even country, and having to start life “from scratch.” Oh how painful change can be!
And I know that He will be with you too. Whatever change you are facing right now – whether it’s having a baby, moving school, moving house – or something as tragic as the sudden loss of a loved one. Whether you are the one moving on, or the one being left behind. Take heart! Do not fear! Though the earth should change and the mountains should slip into the heart of the sea, God is in control. He is not removed from your situation. He is not absent. He is present. And not just present, VERY present. ‘Very’ is a word of emphasis. It underlines! It’s written in bold and italics!
Whatever ‘trouble’ you may find yourself in today, He is with you! He is the same God that was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace. He was with Daniel in the Lion’s Den. He was with Moses and the Israelites when they were faced with the red sea in front of them and the Egyptian Armies behind. He is the same God that was with David when he stood toe to toe with a nine foot giant. And He will be with you too. When we remember His awesome works, and remember His past mercies, we know that we need not fear!
If you are in a season of change, or troubled over world events, run to the Rock today. He is a shelter, a safe-haven, and a firm foundation that cannot be shaken, no matter what your changes or shifting circumstances may be. Even if the earth should change, and the mountains should slip into the very heart of the sea – you need not fear. He has got you in the palm of His hand. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.