Journey in Faith
Bruce Osborn, Director of Spiritual Development
Written in 2011, But Very Applicable Today
I remember our first winter in Wisconsin. Many locals spoke of that particular winter as a mild one, compared to a normal winter that the upper Midwest is capable of producing. But I remember my impression of that winter was very different than how everyone else labeled it. No matter how it was described, it was brutal to me. It came in with a fury on December 1 and lasted long into what was the normal beginning of spring in the part of the country from which we had moved. That winter season was one of beauty, but its beauty soon wore off after a couple months and my wife and I began to understand the perseverance for which Midwesterners are known.
Our lives are comprised of seasons; times of great joy, and times of great uncertainty. Some of those seasons are brief, but some can seem to last forever. Whether its seasons we bring upon ourselves from our own actions, or ones that are forced on us from external sources, we constantly seek to find ways to move through these times with great faith and resolve. How we respond to times of great trial or times of great joy, will reveal the depth of our faith and trust in our God and His promises.
The psalmist must have been experiencing one of those difficult seasons in life when he penned the words to the 46th Psalm. He began his writing with these familiar words: “God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way…” Sometimes we may feel as if the earth is about to “give way”; that the season we find ourselves in just seems that it can’t get any worse. We search for answers and seek to control every facet of our struggle without giving any thought to surrendering the outcome to the One who can already see the season’s end. The psalmist knew who his refuge was. His refuge was found in God, not in the things that were crumbling around him. His place of safety was in the hand of the Almighty. And it was there that he placed his trust.
So how do we surrender and trust God when the season we are in is one of fear and uncertainty? The key to doing so, I believe, is found later in that psalm. In verse 10, the writer, after listing all the things that were falling apart around him, speaks from God’s perspective. He records God saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Giving control to the unseen is difficult. It is a step of faith. And it starts by being still; quieting our souls long enough to allow God to speak into our spirit His peace. And when we have His peace, the peace that passes all understanding, we have all the security we need. From that point we gain a perspective that comes from eyes of faith instead of fear.
The world will seek to incite fear in seasons like this. Don’t listen to it. Remember to take time to be still. Surrender control of your season, your journey, to Him. Listen to Him, for He is “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” And His promise is that He will never leave you.
You are secure, so keep looking up. This season of uncertainty will surely pass.