Psalm 46 has long been my favorite psalm. It has been a friend during many challenging times, including this one with COVID-19. The psalm begins by reminding us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We are told not to fear even though the earth changes—mountains shake and waters roar. We seem to be doing a little bobbing around in those waves now, searching for the horizon. There is nervousness with the unknown. What will our new normal look like? When will we get to that new normal? It is so very easy to get caught up in the current of fear that we have to be told not to fear.
As we keep reading, there is a stark change in the text—what had been loud and chaotic becomes quiet and calm. Instead of raging waters, we are shown a stream running through a city—God’s dwelling-place. In the middle of all of the craziness, there is calm. The storm is still there, but we are not alone. God is with us; God is our place of refuge.
I think the secret is held in verse 10: “Be still and know that I am God!” It is easy to get caught up in the storm that is raging in your life—whether it is an issue with your health, finances, relationships or something else. Sometimes we are so very busy trying to solve what we see as a problem that we miss opportunities to see things a different way. We need to stop racing around, take a breath and gain perspective. I like how The Message paraphrases it: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
In the midst of this time of unknowing, let’s find some time to be still—instead of reading the news while drinking your coffee, take your mug outside and experience God in nature; instead of watching television, play games or work puzzles with your family to experience God in community. Spend some time just being still and experience God in Spirit. Look for ways to step out of the traffic and find a stream to splash joy in your heart.