From Mary Soto
“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…” (Psalm 46:1-3)
It takes less than the earth quaking and mountains falling into the sea to cause me to fear. I really want to rest in God as my refuge and strength… but troubles do indeed come, and they’re hard. This Psalm affirms that God is an ever-present help in trouble. That is greatly comforting. But what happens in the middle of the storm when I can’t feel God? When I’m screaming for his help and comfort and I don’t find it? This experience of feeling abandoned by God has shaken my faith. But I think God is in the process of teaching me something. He doesn’t always show up in the way I expect, but that doesn’t mean he’s not with me. He knows what I need, and it’s not always what I think I want. He wants my hope to be independent of circumstances. He wants me to trust him even when I can’t see and don’t understand.
Throughout scripture we’re called to trust God, despite how things appear. Basically, to see beyond what’s right before our eyes. In the Luke passage Jesus declares “You cannot serve both God and money.” And also, “What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” It seems so natural to look at what is in front of us, to find refuge in sources of security other than God. But the call, says Paul, is to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
It reminds me of the story of Elisha and his servant, surrounded by an enemy army. His servant was greatly afraid but Elisha prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes so that he could see things as they really were. His eyes were opened and he saw chariots of fire all around them, ready to protect and defend them. Oh how beautiful. To see beyond, to see the truth: that our God, mighty and good, is truly with us. Lord, may we have eyes to see.
I live in Medfield with my husband Jose and our 3-year old daughter Hannah. I was a “childcare professional” (who thought I knew a thing or two about raising kids) before becoming a mom, and I have been thoroughly humbled by motherhood.