Footprints daily reflection: 2 April
Author: Rev William Hayes
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.’
"Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing's gonna be all right..."
Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
Platitudes are everywhere. From Bob Marley lyrics (and I'm not knocking them, I like his songs) to those awful inspirational posters people put up in offices - "Believe it and you've already achieved it!"
Sometimes we pull bits out of the Bible and make platitudes of them. "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" is the kind of thing you would see slapped onto a photograph of a cute puppy.
Left on its own this is little better than, "Every little thing's gonna be alright" but it's the context of the rest of the psalm that stops it being a platitude. "though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea" is not a clichéd promise of an easy life for those who follow God, but it is a promise that right there, in the midst of trouble, in the heart of the storm and the violence of this world, God is there.
So often when I pray I want God to take away the complications of life or the difficult moments that make life hard. But instead of removing those things, God meets us in the heart of them. It’s amid the breaking of the bows, the shattering of the spears and the burning of the shields that he says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Take a moment to be still.
It might help to focus on your breath for a moment rather than launch straight into talking to God. Simply sit in his presence.
After a moment, bring before God the things that worry you. Rather than asking God to fix these things thank him that he is God, he is in charge and, as you rest in his presence, be still and tell yourself that he is in control, he is God.
Life is sometimes very difficult
It can feel like the storm is surging around me
But you are in charge, you are God
I place myself into your hands
Trusting you and believing
Help me to be still and to know that you are God
Rev William Hayes is minister of Mountmellick and Tullamore Presbyterian Churches in counties Laois and Offaly, Ireland.