God is our refuge and strength

‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble … though the waters roar and foam … the Lord of hosts is with us’ (Psalm 46:1,3–4).

Many years ago, I prayed portions of this psalm over and over again as I was on a mission boat, buffeted by strong trade winds as it travelled from Siassi to Lae across the notorious Vitiaz Strait. There were times when the boat was hit side-on by waves and it heeled over, and I wondered if it would come upright again. Most worrying was that my two young children were with me. God kept us safe, and we finally reached Lae.

It is reassuring to us all that God is protecting us as we are buffeted by the vagaries of physical life here on earth, whether it be danger from the elements, sickness, or problems with work and careers. God gives us the strength to face them by standing with us through these trials.

More reassuring is that God is protecting and strengthening us as we are buffeted in our spiritual life by doubts, depression or anxiety about the future. The Holy Spirit stands with us and supports us through word and sacrament and the love of fellow believers. We can trust God to be with us and never let us go.

I am reminded of a time when I was driving past a pine forest in Mt Gambier, and my three-year-old grandson wanted us to stop and go into the forest. I said, ‘You might get lost’. He replied, ‘No, I wouldn’t because I would be holding your hand’. God grant us such child-like trust.

How blessed we are that we have such a strong base in our life – one that will never fail us but will keep us safe and secure all our days and into eternity.

Thank you, God, that you are always with us to guide and support us through all the trials of this life. Amen.

This devotion was shared by Norma Koehne as part of the Daily Devotions, which are provided for our LCA/NZ family.