For those of you who don’t know my world got rocked last week. Shaken. No, scratch that. Greatly shaken. Think upheaval. Think overthrown. Think turned upside down. Think “before and after.” With one simple statement my life was immediately divided in half. Everything that had come “before.” And everything that would now come “after.” As many of you are aware my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last Thursday (she is in her early 40s). Needless to say it came as quite a blow to us. This past weekend has been a real struggle emotionally for our entire family (we have 3 children). In spite of the doctor’s positive outlook and confidence we have still found ourselves under a constant barrage of worries, fears, and worst-case-scenarios. For us we have fully entered into a season of trouble, trials, and testing.
During the past few days my blogs have focused on Psalm 46. I will be honest with you. It was not intentional or premeditated on my part. That was where the Lord led me on the very first morning after the diagnosis. I was hurting. I was shaken. I was tottering. I was reeling both emotionally and spiritually. As I sat down at the kitchen table for my daily quiet time I looked upward and breathed a desperate prayer, “Father, I really, really need You this morning.” God did not disappoint. He answered my cry and led me right to Psalm 46. During the past few days this small portion of scripture has become for me a very literal means of spiritual life-support. In the midst of my time of trouble God has been revealing Himself to be a very present help.
Psalm 46 reminds God’s people that in the midst of even the most unimaginable chaos and confusion they can remain confident in their faith. When troubles come they need not lose their trust. When the future seems uncertain they need not give in to fear. In the face of even the most desperate of situations God will be a refuge for His people. He will be their strength. He will be their stronghold. Whether it is some natural catastrophe or an invading enemy they can have peace and joy. God is with them. God will help them.
Verse 5 in particular paints an incredible picture of this truth. Let’s begin by taking a look at the city of Jerusalem itself. Jerusalem has been called “a mountain city enthroned on a mountain fastness.” Resting upon a limestone plateau 2500 feet above sea level, Jerusalem is quite literally built upon a series of hills (2 to 4 depending upon one’s geographical interpretation). This natural elevation coupled together with the surrounding terrain has made it one of the most well-fortified cities in history. The city can only be approached from the north due to the fact that the three remaining sides are surrounded by very high and steep ravines. From the earliest days of antiquity Jerusalem was a city that was easily defended and not easily overthrown. Everything about the city’s geographical location spoke safety and security to her inhabitants.
Now, couple that picture together with the Psalmist’s words in the opening verses. Therein, the writer speaks of the ”slipping” and “quaking” of the mountains. Personally, that’s hard for me to imagine. When I think of mountains the last image I have is of movement. To me mountains are the ultimate representation of stability. And yet, the Psalmist declares that even if the very mountains themselves were to totter and fall into the seas we do not need to be afraid. No matter the chaos or turmoil there is one mountain that cannot be shaken, one mountain that will stand secure and steadfast no matter the upheaval. The entire world may turn upside down. But it matters not. The mountain of God, the resting place of His holy city, the home for His people will remain safe and secure. It cannot be moved. God, the immovable One, is in her midst.
God is in her midst. She will not be moved. Will not be shaken. Will not slip. Will not totter. Even if everything around her falls into the ocean she will still be standing. Still be secure. Still be safe. Why? because God is in her midst. What an incredible sense of comfort that brings to me. If God will so care for a city, how much more will He take care of you and I? For in the same way His presence was in the midst of Jerusalem so too He now dwells inside of us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. HE IS IN OUR MIDST!!! WE WILL NOT BE MOVED!!! When the storms come we are safe. When troubles surround us we are secure. When trials and adversity seek to overwhelm us we need not be afraid. The God inside of us cannot be moved. Worries and concern may buffet us but they have no lasting power. In the end His promise will prevail. He is with us. He will help us. Like the very mountains themselves, in Him and through Him we are immovable. In the end, when all is said and done, when the dust finally settles, we will still be standing. Safe and secure. Immovable in Him.