Enduring a major earthquake was difficult, but the most devastating and frightening part of it was not buildings falling, people screaming, and the horrible rumbling. Those things were scary, most certainly! But the most frightening thing was more fundamental than that. It took a while for my mind to begin processing it. The most frightening part was the ground which had been stable and secure my whole life was moving and no longer dependable. From the moment I was born, the earth beneath me was steady and sure. I walked with confidence on it from the day I learned to walk. I jumped, skipped, hopped, rolled, ran, and crawled on a firm foundation of dirt, grass, and rock miles deep and seemingly impenetrable. But on April 25, 2015, the truth that I had believed my whole life was shattered and revealed as a lie. The ground could indeed move and shake violently. It is difficult to explain the mental and emotional strain I endured trying to process this new fact. The human mind will struggle to comprehend such a radical notion. Such challenges are what create things like PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.) And, yes, our family still deals with PTSD.
Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah."
The truth is that even the earth beneath our feet is unreliable for safety. We cannot count on it. The mountains move and shake. They can be removed. We experienced that, too, as we saw landslides that wiped out entire mountain sides, covering and burying entire villages. (These verses in Psalm 46 never meant so much to me as they do now after the earthquake.) But we don't have to fear. Why?
Man's kingdoms can be shaken, removed, and destroyed.
Psalm 46:6 "The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted."
Man often acts like he is invincible, but no matter how strong the military, no matter how strong the government, no matter how strong the economy, and no matter how strong the people, any country is vulnerable. Any country and people can be removed. A simple shake of the ground... a devastating storm... a cunning enemy.
But God's kingdom?
Psalm 46:5 "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early."
God is stable. His kingdom is unmovable. His throne is impenetrable. Unlike the day when my trust in the ground beneath me was shattered, the reliability of God will never change. That's what makes Him the best refuge and help in our times of trouble. He is unchanging and immovable. That's why we can be still... that's why we can run to Him in confidence. When we stand upon Him and His truth we are standing on a firm foundation that will never be shaken. It will never be moved. It is even more solid and trustworthy of a foundation than the very earth we walk upon.
Psalm 46:10-11 "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."