As one might believe our drive home from Brownwood, TX after picking up our RV didn’t quite go as planned. Being stuck at a Quick Time in north Texas was not something I would have planned for our trip. I mean, who would right? Who would go into a trip thinking I want to do some extended sightseeing at a gas station parking lot? If you watch episode 7 of Pre-Launch, you could clearly see that Sara had the expectation to make some major ground that day. We were going to drive until we just couldn’t drive anymore in order to make the next day much easier.
Well, we still made it across the boarder into Missouri that night but it was pretty late at night and not the most ideal of circumstances. Needless to say the trip did not meet our expectations. This was a little more than just a minor set back or slightly adjusting our plans. No, adjusting our plans would have been running into traffic or heavy construction. What happen here was a complete upheaval of what we assumed was going to happen.
But like most good God stories, something crazy was turned into something kind of neat. We got to meet a nice gentleman named Rocky in that gas station parking lot and we were able to witness and encourage one another. In that brief interaction the world felt a little smaller and a lot more graceful.
The Bible speaks about expectations many times throughout its pages. Before we get there, I think it’s important to understand what an expectation is. Expectations are beliefs generated from examining evidence. So, we examine evidence which includes our history, our experiences, even what color shirt we have on. We take all this in and produce an expectation.
When expectations fail the natural thing for us to is get frustrated at the result. Right? If something went wrong it has to be someone’s fault. Even though there will always be some truth to that there is another way we can think. What if…. What if none of it was really in our control to begin with? What if we have a God that wants to guide us through these things. Ah, now we are starting to get our heads in the right place.
What if it is not about what we want but yet bringing glory to God in all that we do.
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
I want us to think about a Psalm that brings me conform with thoughts like these. As we look and examine Psalm 46 we start to see how God helps us not to worry about what goes on around us. We see how no matter what happens God is here with us. The Psalm opens up swinging telling us
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present[b] help in trouble.
There are couple things in this Psalm, that over time, have gotten a little diluted. This first part is one. The first thing we are to realize is says “Our” refuge and strength. Did you catch that? This does say “my” refuge. You might think this is splitting hairs but not really. We need to understand when this Psalm was written there were wars and plundering everywhere. There was potential physical danger that could rise up against these people at any moment. So, this Psalm is written to comfort a group not just an individual. Let us take heart and recognize this. That we as believers are together as one body. (1 Cor 12:12) Recognize that we are one people, on one mission and we should never feel alone in this pursuit. The Bible reminds us many times how we are many not just one.
Even with all the danger around them this Psalmist declares it is not their fortresses or their armies, but yet Jehovah is their refuge and strength. They would stare at the large walls of rock lined with 1000s of men with bow and arrows ready to defend their homes and yet they declare, “this is not where I put my assurance, I put that in the God of Jacob!”
Below this we read that we not talking about a distant God but yet one that is a present help in trouble. God is active in the lives of his children. In fact God is closer than any husband or wife, father or mother, or any friend here on Earth. None can be more present than God.
So THEREFORE! Ah ha… did you see that? The word “therefore” often symbolizes a conclusion to an argument in scripture and is we do good to listen up when we see this word.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
This may be a song but there is some obvious logic the Psalmist is throwing at us! When we accept all of our power, all of our sense of security, and all of our perception of control is not truly where refuge can be found the next logical step is to not fear the things that threaten our securities.
The Psalmist is saying bring me your worst world, cause you got nothin’ on the God I find strength in! With the Lord as my refuge, in an eternal fortress, the logical argument found in Psalm 46 is meant for us to come to the conclusion that fear is irrational in light of the Lordship of God.