March 19, 2024

Taylor Abaroa
""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, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,  the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.""
Psalm 46:1-5

The words from Psalm 46 come at a time of war and unrest yet offer us two constant themes of God’s strength and His presence. I’m very grateful for the foundation of faith and the gift it is to grow up in a family who loved God. Even with a family who sought to follow God, experiences have opportunities to take root and shape us. From a young age and as I grew, I had high expectations of myself and others around me, which led me down a slippery slope of perfectionism, searching for approval and striving. What I cherish from this psalm is the safety and security that God’s faithfulness and omnipresence bring.

Later in Psalm 46, verse 10 states, “Be still and know that I am God.” Oftentimes, in our busy world, we need to be quiet, to still ourselves, to stop overscheduling our calendars (even with good things), and to pause. However, for me, God has been gracious in showing me (and reminding me again when I forget) that He is my refuge and strength. In those moments, I am able to remember and reflect upon our Creator, our Redeemer, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. I still have high expectations and dreams and wrestle with my own failures, but I also have security, steadfastness, unwavering hope, and a lot more joy in God, who is a refuge for me.

When we know God, we better understand His unconditional love for us, and it marks us. It’s not how we perform, what job we have, a sum of our trespasses, our social status, our failures, or our dreams — it’s God who defines you and me. As we fix our eyes on Christ this season, may we not forsake laying the striving down, remember God, and make space in our lives to be with Him.