Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you had a wonderful day. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I’ve been anticipating it for weeks! I had thought about doing a week-long series of blogs for Thanksgiving, as I’ve done in past years, but that did not happen. However, I’ve had a psalm on my heart for the past week that I’d like to share. During this autumn, my church has been in a series called “Fall into the Psalms” and we’ve been enjoying studying several psalms so far. Now, one of the troubles of being in the Psalms, if you can call it such, is that once you start in one you get easily sidetracked into reading many others. So during our sermon last week on Psalm 11, I got distracted by a phrase I remembered being in a nearby psalm, and then I found myself over in Psalm 46. During this week, that psalm has been nestled in a corner of my heart whispering it’s truth when I’ve most needed it. It’s also been mentioned several other times by completely different sources, and when I thought about what I wanted to blog about for Thanksgiving, this psalm was the first choice.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
On first glance, it doesn’t seem an obvious choice for a Thanksgiving reflection. But I find it an immensely comforting psalm. We often find ourselves in situations that we can’t give thanks for; but we can always be thankful for God’s character and love for us, which is unchanging. This Thanksgiving finds me worried and apprehensive over situations coming up in the near future that I don’t know how to anticipate or plan for. They’re things I can’t control and that makes me fearful. I’ve had dread and nerves and worry sitting like a hard rock in my gut for a while now and there’s no telling just yet how these stories in my life are going to play out. That’s why I found this psalm so refreshing and restorative to my heart. The author of this song also speaks of unsure times, events of cataclysm and calamity that would seem to result in ruin. But he says “we will not fear” even if the worst should happen. Because God is ever present. Notice how often the author draws the reader back to that theme: that God is with us. He is our refuge, a place of shelter. He is our fortress, a place of strength. He is our help, our security, our Savior. He holds our hand through all seasons of life, through the murky unknown, through times of feast and famine. And because He holds us, we can always give thanks.
Blessings to you,
Well-written and timely post, Sarah. We can use the reminder. 🙂 Blessings!
Thank you Eliza! I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving
I did, thank you!
We try to live by thanking God always and everywhere. If we can accept with faith and remain aware of His Presence and believe that God is so intimate that He orchestrates and allows every event in our lives for our own good to help prepare us for what He wants us to become for His glory, then I think we can be thankful and not grumble or complain even while we are in those really difficult situations that we experience in life. I really like the Psalm that you pick out. Right now I’m reading a very beautiful book called The Mystical City of God which I believe is connected to this Psalm as well as to Psalm 87 (interestingly the only two instances, in many translations, where the phrase ‘City of God’ appears). Thank you Sarah for continuing to write about things that are important and that matter.
I really like your style. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.