1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1-11 (NIV)
Getting lost is one of my absolute least favorite situations. Even with GPS, my navigation skills are limited. And as we all know, even the best maps apps aren’t flawless. This year, I have gotten lots of practice navigating new streets. I’ve taken plenty of wrong turns, found myself on one-lane dusty backroads, and felt slightly panicked at times.
Much more than legitimate fear of where I’m at or worry that I won’t find my way, being lost reminds me that I am in an unfamiliar place. It means that I don’t know my way home, that I’m completely reliant on a fickle screen and my faulty sense of direction. And in a new city—where feeling lost is a constant burden— the uncertainty makes me aware that life is constantly changing, that each turn is unknown.
Last August, I woke up in the Virginia mountains every morning and only had to remember one zip code. Stepping out on my own, entering the world of independence and adulthood, was entirely new and a bit overwhelming at times. But it has been a beautiful whirlwind of settling in at college, experiencing a year full of growth and joy there, moving again for a great summer internship in yet another place— all just to move into a different dorm.
When I quiet my heart and my mind long enough to process the past year, I’m left wondering how I got to where I am today. Isn’t it remarkable how our normal can be transformed so quickly?
For college students and young adults, life is just unsettled and uncertain. I may only be 19, but I think Taylor Swift’s “22” lyrics, “we’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time / it’s miserable and magical,” are humorously (and maybe even a bit painfully) accurate. We live in a paradox of emotions.
But for the past few months I have found refuge in the Lord’s steadfastness. When I began living with a surrendered yes to His leading in my life, it freed me. When my world changed, it showed me that this world doesn’t matter at all. He is the only One who matters, and He is unshakeable.
If I put my faith in my circumstances, I’ll feel lost deep inside. I don’t know exactly what my life will look like next month or next year. I am living in unfamiliarity, and I don’t know the next turn. But for the first time, I’m okay with that. I can boldly confront my future, trusting that God will be faithful, as he has been in my past and in His Word.
Sometimes the Truth of God’s faithfulness is quiet, and the lies of the Enemy are convincing. At times, I’ve still doubted the Lord. Some days, I’ve crumbled under the uncertainty. But His promises endure, even when I run from Him and question His sovereignty.
If none of His promises to the Israelites failed (Joshua 21:45), why do I doubt Him now? If He cares for the birds and the wild flowers, He will surely take care of me (Matthew 6:25-34). I’m finally learning to believe these truths, to live them, and to declare them.
When my faith in the Lord becomes the core of my being, I will not be moved. The earth can give way and the mountains may fall into the sea, but it doesn’t change who I am and who God is. I can move from city to city and watch my own ideas crumble, but I can stand firm in the strength of the Lord.
Just like a city remaining strong against the forces of nature and war, I long to be immoveable. The Most Holy dwells in me. To Him, no place is unfamiliar, no future day is unknown. If He is within me, I will not fall.
So I will be still and know that He is God. Regardless of what I may face today, this week, or this year, I can find rest in knowing He is with me. I can praise Him and trust Him through it all.
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