Chin Up Devotional: Day 4

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

— Psalm 46

 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 

Trouble. 

Trouble turns up in innumerable ways. Loss and grief. Frustrating coworkers. A child with a non-conventional learning style. Family drama. Car problems. Money issues. Toddler tantrums. Anger issues (Ahem, not me....). Marital disconnection. Stress.

Whatever your mind is adding to this list right now–that specific trouble feels very real to you today.  

The poet describes how everything he knows has been shaken up. Certainty is fleeting. Immovable mountains tremble. The powerful sea foams and roars. The only thing he can absolutely stand firm on each and every day comes from his opening line:

God is our refuge. God is our strength. God is an ever-present help. 

This morning as we face whatever trouble comes our way, write down this statement to take with you today:

God is my refuge, strength, and ever-present help. (You can write ever-present HALP. I did. It's fine.)

The subtitle for my book"Chin Up" is "Wearing Grace, Strength, and Dignity When Motherhood Unravels Our Souls." Let's wear the strength from the King when our soul is unraveling. And some of the greatest soul care we can do is to actually speak to our own soul.

Let's look our trouble in the face and say: My God is stronger.
Let's stare our fear in the eye and say: My God is bigger.
Let's face our frustration head on and say: My God is for me and with me. 

Chin up, friend, and let's coach our soul with immovable truths and unshakable facts. 

When we feel like nothing is working, let's strengthen our soul like a powerful river in the middle of a shaken city. This is God in the midst of a troubled heart, a troubled child, a troubled world: "He is within her, she will not fall."

Maybe you or your child needs to hear that God is stronger than the fear of the night. Maybe you or your child needs to know that God is a place where we can take cover from the hard confusing arithmetic problems or the rude words spoken on the bus. Maybe you or your child need to know that God is within you, and you will not fall.

Take a moment and close your eyes. Open your hands. Give today's trouble to the Mighty King of All. Whisper: "God is my help in this. Even this." Sit in the quiet and claim your strength.  

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.
— Matthew 6:34
I abandon my addiction to the certainty of life
and my need to know everything
this illusion cannot speak, it cannot walk with me at night
as I taste life’s fragility

I am looking for a savior I can see and know and touch
one who dwells within the midst of us
May a broken God be known within the earth beneath our feet,
let our souls behold humility
let our souls behold humility
— Looking for a Savior, United Pursuit

God, coach our souls. Help us recite that you are our refuge, our strength, our companion. Teach us how to talk to our souls when unexpected trouble walks in our door. Protect our hearts and guard them against bitterness. Give us wisdom to teach our children the same truths. You are stronger. You are bigger. You are with us. You are for us. Amen. 

Amy Seiffert