Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Earth Giving Way

"GOD is our refuge and strength
a very present help in trouble
Therefore we will not fear
though the earth gives way; 
though the mountains be moved
into the heart of the sea."
(Psalm 46:1-2)

Ah, today. Maybe today is another day when your back will hurt or your stomach will ache. Maybe it's another day of hard work where you'll feel under-appreciated, overworked, and overwhelmed, or another day to miss your husband, your child, your mom or dad. Maybe it's another day of chemotherapy or another surgery to endure, or another day when you have to take more medicine that you know will make you sick. Guess which day I'm having. Remicade: the bi-monthly 5hr-long infusion that keeps my disease more in check than not. Kind of. I love the stuff, but man oh man, do I ever hate it. It's equally effective and intolerable.

I don't know about you, but for me, trust is hard work. It's an awful lot like love that way. It's difficult to see the refuge of God through the dark haze of grief and discomfort and all the you-just-don't-have-a-choice's. Sometimes it feels like the earth is giving way right under my feet, and God is nowhere to be seen.

Well, we can't all wait for a bolt of lightning to knock us to the ground with the blinding reality of the presence of God. In our sinful world, and with our imperfect eyes, we have to know where to look. Pick up the Bible and read it. Get up and go to church. Talk to your pastor who stands in the stead and by the command of Christ: confess and be absolved, receive the Eucharist: the true body and true blood of our Lord and Savior. Make a point to remember you're baptized and cross your self. Sit down and pray. Sing or listen to those beautiful hymns composed by people just like you who were trying to make it through another day without losing sight of the refuge of God.
"Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Everyone knows what happens if we don't work to strengthen our endurance: it disappears. We have to actively trust God because being a Christian does not by any stretch of the imagination mean living an easy life. God promises us both trouble and salvation. One is temporary and the other is eternal. Make no mistake" the earth will continue to give way underneath our exhausted feet as long as we are live. But even on our worst days when the mountains crumble into the sea--literally or figuratively--God is our refuge and strength, our very present help in the time of trouble.

We still have to RUN the race, yes, but Jesus has already WON it for us through His loving sacrifice. One day, God's voice will boom through the clouds more sweetly than that of a thousand angels' and literally melt the earth. And on that day, because Jesus died for you, God the Father will finally say to Satan, "Enough! Leave my child alone." And Satan, defeated long ago at Calvary, will have no choice but to obey. In the meantime, fight the good fight for Jesus' sake and do your best. Use His gifts to increase your endurance. After all, a love strong enough to die for ought to be strong enough to live for.

Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is from Psalm 46:10a
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"Be still -------> 5 count inhale
and know that I am God." -------> 5 count exhale

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