Psalm 46:1-3: 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.

It is interesting that this claim about God assumes that life can fall apart. The idea of the earth giving way and mountains falling into the sea tells us that the writer assumes calamity–devastating calamity–can happen in this life. Certainly, the world having a cataclysmic end would fall in the category of devastating.  But for those that have suffered greatly, these words picture what life feels like in our great pains, even when the weather is fine and the world goes on as always. 

In great suffering, everything feels as though all is genuinely crumbling around you. You lost your job, you were cheated on, a friend dies in a car accident, or you lose your child. In these moments life feels completely shaky like you just can’t imagine eating, like hearing someone’s voice is a chore, or that you wouldn’t mind if an accident happened to you to take away your pain.

This song suggests that these sort of life-altering events are to be expected by the people of God. It is precisely because they are expected that the Psalmist has hope to cling to God in those moments. 

My simple encouragement is this. Are you prepared to worship God in cataclysmic suffering? You cannot be completely prepared, but you can prepare. If it isn’t here already, it is coming, it meets us all some day, in some way. It is important to know God as refuge now and trust that His goodness will sustain you in the dark times. Only then will you be ready. Then when incredible suffering comes you will no where to find a home, even when all the world is falling apart around you.


Pastor Jeremiah