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Our ancient, age-old trust

January 5, 2022

Daily Scripture

Psalm 46:1-7

Psalm 46:1-7

1 God is our refuge and strength,
a help always near in times of great trouble.
2 That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,
when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,
3 when its waters roar and rage,
when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.
4 There is a river whose streams gladden God’s city,
the holiest dwelling of the Most High.
5 God is in that city. It will never crumble.
God will help it when morning dawns.
6 Nations roar; kingdoms crumble.
God utters his voice; the earth melts.
7 The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!
The God of Jacob is our place of safety.

Did You Know?

A river (as in Psalm 46:4) runs through all of earth’s sacred history depicted in the stained-glass window at Resurrection Leawood. You can click here to see the window, and explore all of its symbols and characters, including the river.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

A global pandemic, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornados make us painfully aware that what we call “solid ground” for life can, in fact, fall apart. Personal and family “worlds” fall apart every day from health crises, broken relationships, financial losses, and accidents. Psalm 46 pointed God’s people to the life-changing trust we can depend on in 2022 (and always): “God is our refuge and strength… we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart.”

  • Is anything making you feel as if your world is falling apart? Do those times ever lead you to feel like the start of Psalm 13: “How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” How can your faith in God’s care give you a stable place to stand even if everything else seems to be crumbling? If you’re not in crisis, what makes it worthwhile to deepen your trust in God before the next time everything seems to fall apart?
  • Psalm 46:4 might sound like a travel tip—but no river flows through the earthly Jerusalem. “God’s city” wasn’t a reference to one limited earthly location, but a poetic image of God’s care for all God’s people at all places and in all times. The river image looked back to creation (Genesis 2:10) and forward to God’s ultimate victory (Revelation 22:1-3). What helps you let God’s river of steadfast love stream strength and comfort into your heart?

Lord Jesus, you know firsthand about the joys and sorrows that are part of being human. Teach me how to look to you as my light and strength even at the most frightening times. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Kari Burgess

Kari Burgess

Kari joined staff in 2012 after several years in the corporate world and served 9 years on the ShareChurch Ministry Team before moving into her current role as a Creative Project Manager on the Resurrection Experience Team.

She married her college sweetheart, Matt, in 1996 and together they love spending time with their two daughters and supporting them in their music, theater, social and academic adventures. Kari enjoys running with her neighborhood “crew” and hiking.

Psalm 46 is one I have leaned on for many, many years as a source of comfort and strength. When life has shaken me to my core, reading Psalm 46 on repeat helps to calm me down, find my center and reminds me of who and whose I am.

Others have surely suffered far more tragedy and hardship than I’ve experienced, but life has thrown me a few curveballs. One time several years ago when faced with a particularly difficult trial, I remember literally collapsing into a heap on the ground. My first instinct was to cry out to God in an unintelligible voice, a groaning, really. I spent time in lament, crying out “why me” with a sense of hopelessness sweeping over me.

But even in such a dark place, I never felt alone. Even in the chaos of my mind, the confusion of my circumstances, the grief of my heart and without a resolution or being able to see a way through it, I did not feel alone. My God was with me. I felt His presence immediately. And although I didn’t feel reassured right in the moment that everything would be OK, it did feel like God scooped me up and invited me to lean in to His strong and comforting arms. He was (and is) my refuge – a safe haven – and my strength during a time when I felt weak.

Reflecting on it now, what got me through the storm was having a firm foundation of faith. When “the world fell apart,” I was able to rely on the core faith I’d had since childhood and the foundational Scriptures taught to me through Sunday school, youth group, adult Bible studies and devotion time. Much like the “muscle memory” we have when driving a car, playing the piano, or singing a familiar song, my core beliefs and faith kicked into autopilot when I needed them. In my heart, I knew God held me and was in control. He provided me a safe haven during the storm and was my strength while rebuilding the mess left behind.

It seems like we all go through seasons where we’re walking close with God and other seasons where we’re not walking as closely with God. I know I do. But even in those seasons when maybe I haven’t been praying as frequently or am more consumed by “worldly things,” I know I’ll fall back on the deep-seeded truth that God is always present for me.

God, Help me feel your presence today and every day. Guide me to your safe haven and help me to rely on your strength in times of trouble. Amen.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.