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,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. — Psalm 46:1-3
No one can deny that COVID-19 has caused our world to be turned upside down. Just a few months ago, we were welcoming in the year 2020, filled with hope and anticipation for all that was ahead in the new year. But now, it seems as though nothing is as it should be. Where is our hope? When nothing seems certain anymore, when our world is constantly changing, where can we find security?
When the World is in Chaos
In Psalm 46:3, the psalmist gave a picture of chaotic seas crashing against mountains, to the point that they would tremble. In the Old Testament, seas, or deep waters of any kind, were a source of great fear. This fear was due to the dangers that could come with strong storms, as well as the fear of uncertainty, no one knew what was in the deep waters. So how much more fearful could one be when the seas, which are already scary, are roaring to the point that they shake the mountains?
Does the world kind of seem like that right now? The world is already kind of scary at times, and we already fear uncertainty. How much more intense is our fear when a global pandemic causes chaos in every area of our lives? We can relate to the picture that the psalmist gives us because we are facing extreme fear and uncertainty. Things are changing every day, and we do not know when this will end. As the waters roared in this Psalm, so do our circumstances roar with danger and confusion.
When Nothing is Secure
Have you ever been in a situation where you were in a place that wasn’t secure? Maybe you sat in a chair that was barely able to hold you. Maybe you were in an old building or on an old bridge, and the wind caused it to sway. Whatever the situation, you probably just wanted to move yourself to solid ground, or something trustworthy that you were sure could hold you. But the situation described by the psalmist in Psalm 46:2 is when even the things which we thought were most secure —the earth and mountains— begin to lose stability and come crumbling down.
The COVID-19 situation can feel very much like that. Just months ago, we could not have imagined a situation in which we would not have school, church gatherings, sporting events, or the ability to visit family or friends. I bet you never thought you would fear running out of toilet paper! But these times are scary because we are seeing the things that we count on, the most consistent things in our lives, taken away. Many people are losing their jobs, multitudes are becoming sick, and we can so easily feel so isolated from those who we go to for comfort. Our world truly has been shaken, and it seems as though there is no security or stability anymore.
God is Our Ever-Present Help
This is a pretty scary situation, right? So often, we can become overwhelmed by our circumstances, and so afraid because of the uncertainty around us, we begin looking for what is secure rather than who is secure. The psalmist did not begin this passage by telling us how scary his situation was, he began in Psalm 46:1 by telling us how trustworthy the Lord is. And by telling us this first, he shows us that God is able to protect us, no matter what situation may come.
So we should not fear. Although we face scary, uncertain circumstances; although our world seems to be crumbling to the ground, God is our refuge. God is always present, He cannot be moved or shaken. The psalmist did not try to tell us that his circumstance was not terrifying, and I am not trying to tell you that COVID-19 is not scary and confusing. But this Psalm was not written to cause us to dwell on our circumstances, but to run to the Lord, to take refuge in our ever-present help. Our God is greater than COVID-19, and He will be greater than the next crisis we face. Take refuge in Him today.