A Very Present Help

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

We spend much of our time planning for the future. We are always thinking about what we need to do now to be ready for tomorrow.

Now, there is nothing wrong with planning. Some people are just obsessed with it. They go through each day as if they had to make plans for themselves and their family for the next 50 years! Such questions haunt them. “How much money do I need to live on when I get old? What do I have to put away for college for the children? What do I have to do to make sure the boss notices how hard I work?” When do I need to think about looking for another job so I can move up the ladder quicker? What do I need to do to impress that girl over in the accounting department?”

Notice in all of those questions the emphasis is on “what I have to do” or “what do I need to have.” It’s as if everything depended on each of us to control the outcome we desire.

Then something happens, and we soon realize we are not in charge. We get hit with the reality of just how little we actually control. The outcomes of life are not simply all in our hands.

Just ask 17 families in south Florida. That college fund is not important any more. What type of car they drive is no longer a priority. Where they will spend spring break no longer matters.

An act of evil that is beyond comprehension, beyond understanding suddenly changed the course of life for those families. They had a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a friend, that was suddenly taken away from them. No one can plan for a day when a loved one goes off to high school, never to walk through the front door of their home again. And what makes it even more unbearable? It seems as if it could have been prevented by the authorities a month earlier.

Life is not about what “I” can do or make happen. Life is about being a part of what God wants to do in each person’s life. When life is turned upside down, we need a place of refuge.

A refuge is a place of safety; a place we can trust. Strength allows for one to stand firm. God is that only true place of safety. He alone gives us the strength to hold on; to keep going. And God has been tried many times, but He has proven to be always present in times of trouble and tribulation.

The lives of many people changed in an instant last week. A person can question and wonder where God was in all of this horror. A person can ask God why He didn’t stop this from happening. That question we cannot answer. But be assured God was there in the middle of it all. He didn’t flee from those students and teachers. He was that present help in time of trouble. And He continues to be that present help for those who are left to mourn and grieve; for those who continue to ask why; for those who are struggling to move forward.

Remember, as we plan for tomorrow, we are not promised a tomorrow. But we are promised that if we will seek Him, if we will have a relationship with Him, He will not abandon us.. He is the refuge and the strength that gets us through each day. He is always present. Will you let Him be your very present help in times of trouble?

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 18, 2018