Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Ezekiel 47: 1-9, 12, Psalm 46, John 5: 1-6

“Be still and know that I am God”—in that stillness, know, feel, sense the great “I Am”—above and beyond all, powerful past all imagining, yet right here with me, as close as the air that touches my skin. The strongest sense of God’s otherness, His absolutely unique character as creator and redeemer, combines with the certainty that He is not THERE, but HERE. The psalmist says, “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.”

We know all about the refuge and strength part; when you’re in trouble you call out to God for help, protection from whatever awful fate you’re facing, and if He doesn’t save you from it, at least He’ll be your strength—help you get through whatever it is without acting like too much of a fool. What odd diction, though, “a very present help.” It’s the red flag highlighting the real distinction. He’s “very present,” not somebody you have to leave a voicemail message for; He’s the one who answers on the first ring. Or maybe you don’t even have to ring, just reach out and realize that He’s right there with you.

Anne Ribble

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