Updated: Feb 2, 2021
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
A few years back I was working for a contractor and had the opportunity to watch a crew removing concrete from the roof of a parking garage using hydrodemolition equipment. This machine used a steady jetstream of high-pressured water (20,000 psi) to separate the aggregate from the rebar holding the structure together. This procedure is generally employed instead of using jackhammers to chip away at the concrete.
Although we used adequate safety precautions—such as wearing hearing protection and standing behind the caution tape—I found the experience a little unnerving. You could feel the floor of the garage shaking and pieces of concrete and beads of water were being spewed from ceiling, causing us all to back up further. The sound was deafening, even when wearing pro-grade earmuffs. I remember thinking, “this must be what it’s like to stand in a war zone.”
I’ve always loved this verse but admit that I didn’t fully grasp the context. As I would read Psalm 46, I pictured myself watching the scene from a distance. It’s easy to trust that God is our refuge when there is nothing to fear. But the Psalmist wasn’t watching a landslide on TV when he wrote this; he felt the earth shake beneath his feet, heard the rocks explode above him, and was blinded by the cloud of mist and dust on all sides.
What about you? We’re at a time in history where we are watching institutions we trusted and people we believed collapse before our very eyes. Can you trust that God IS our refuge and strength, even when the earth beneath us is shaking and the sky above is falling? Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.