Daily D – Psalm 46:1, 10
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. // “Be still, and know that I am God!” PSALM 46:1, 10 (NLT)
Corrie Ten Boom said, “If God sends us on stony paths, we are provided strong shoes.” Who was she to say such a thing? If you are among that increasing number of people unacquainted with her story as told in the book, The Hiding Place, it would be worth your while to find it and discover how others have lived through perilous times.
During World War II, the Ten Boom family helped many Jews escape from the Nazis by hiding them in their home. They were caught and ultimately sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Her father died ten days after they were captured. Her sister Betsie died fifteen days before Corrie was released. Her release was a clerical error. A week later, all the women in her group were sent to the gas chambers.
Huddling at home with Netflix and plenty of books doesn’t seem so bad by comparison.
Every generation hopefully learns at one point or another that, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” My prayer for every soul sequestered at home for the duration of this pandemic is that they will use this time of being still to know and to experience God.
Walk into our office building past the front desk, toward the restrooms and the meeting and office space on down the hall, and you will pass a room on the right called the Hearing God room. It is set up like a living room in a home. Comfortable seating is arranged so that guests can talk in a relaxing atmosphere. Psalm 46:10 adorns the wall next to the main entry door into this room. It is an invitation to encounter God. It is an invitation to do so along with others who seek to know and experience him. It is a hallowed place in the heart of our busy office.
Some months ago, a local leader came for coaching. We sat together in that room. At the end of our session, he sat in silence for an unusually long moment. He then looked around that room and said, “This is such a peaceful place. I don’t want to leave.”
Reports from all over the world indicate that many people are indeed experiencing God right now. The fear of death has a way of clearing the mind of all lesser concerns. It focuses us on ultimate matters. Estimates are that more people heard the good news of Jesus on Easter Sunday a few days ago than any other single day in history. Andrea Botticelli sang Amazing Grace from Milan’s Duomo on Easter Sunday. How beautiful it was to hear the old slave trader’s confession of sin and experience of salvation:
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Yesterday, the number of deaths from COVID-19 rose to the highest yet locally. Even so, across the country, and around the world, there are signs of hope. One day sooner than we think, but maybe not as soon as we hope, we will be able to sing the third verse of Amazing Grace with new appreciation:
Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brot me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
Be still and know that he is God.
I will be still and know that God is my refuge and strength, my hiding place, my God.
Our Father, you are our hiding place. You are our refuge. Our strength is in you. Our hope is in you. Your grace is reaching people who until now chose not to be found. How kind and compassionate you are! Lead us through this dark valley. Lead us safely home. Lead us in every excursion. Lead us as we sit still at home. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.