Very Much Right Here
|By:||Ann Hilsden||Category:||Devotionals, Jerusalem Mornings|
|Date:||Thursday, December 9th, 2010||Topics:||Trust, Trials & tribulations, Help, Fear|
The Lord is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear...Psalm 46:1
This psalm, as you can imagine, is one of our anthems, here in the land of Israel. But "ever-present" is a feeble translation. The usual Hebrew word for "presence" isn't used here. It's not talking about omnipresence, some ethereal cosmic abstract. I don't blame the translators, because we don't have an English expression for the phrase "nimtzah me'od." The modern Hebrew reader would understand it to mean, "very much right here." RIGHT HERE - with a superlative added!
Last week on my way into the city center I encountered a traffic jam. When I finally passed by I saw the reason for the blocked lane and the crowd that stood watching. The front window of a bus had been smashed, and on the ground next to the bus was a man lying unconscious.
I was there. I was present. I saw and heard the aftermath of the accident. But I'll tell you who was "nimtzah me'od". It was the paramedics. I was over two lanes, driving by in a car, craning my neck to see, but the paramedics were treating the man, taking his pulse, and competently preparing him for the ambulance. They were involved.
In our trouble, God is our refuge (keeping out further trouble) and our strength (He won't let us drop!) And He's our "very present help." Just like the paramedics, He's RIGHT THERE! Imagine being in the hands of the perfect doctor, the perfect psychiatrist, the perfect bodyguard, the perfect surgeon, the perfect counsellor, the perfect loving Father! That's Who is "very present! And He is "Our God!"
David really nailed it in this psalm. It's there for us, if we'll take it at face value!
We are living in fearful days, though we don't like to think about it. Natural disasters are on the increase and nuclear threats and terrorism have become global concerns. I write this soon after the volcanic ash from Iceland grounded thousands of flights. It was a grim reminder that we are not in control of our own destiny! But, "we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea".
READ: the rest of Psalm 46, especially the last two verses. Be still, and know that He is God. The Lord of Hosts is with us (Immanu). Believe it, hold onto it, and let His perfect love cast out fear!
Father, I want to fully grasp and believe this statement about You today. If I do, then I know that I don't need to dwell on the dangers in this world, or my own personal troubles or worries. Whether or not I sense You with me, I know that you are. And You're not across the street watching but "very much right here!" I thank You with all my heart!