I don’t know how you feel when you’re dealing with difficult things in life but I often find that I get completely absorbed by the issue at hand. It might occupy my thoughts, absorb my energy and capture my attention for a significant period of time while I work out what to do. Even in my prayer times I can find some things quite distracting. I might well be giving the issue to God but at the same time be wrestling with it and dwelling on the nitty gritty of it. The result is that very often I don’t notice what God is doing until the situation has been completely resolved. Only then am I able to look back and see what God has done. If you feel the same I’d like to suggest that you’re as normal as I think I am.
Psalm 46 has the same feel about it. The author seems to be in a place where a major event has taken place and after a great effort they’ve come out on top. Scholars suggest that there are two possible events that this might refer to, the first being the time when God brought about the destruction of Jehoshaphat’s enemies (2 Chronicles 20:1-37) and the second when Sennacherib’s army was destroyed and he was forced to withdraw (2 Kings 19:35-36).
I think that’s where we see God’s magnificence being poured out and we’re able to say, “Look what God did!” We recognise that something happened that we couldn’t have engineered on our own: when our big problem was demolished and the way forward was made clear. That’s the time when we’re able to celebrate God’s power and majesty and know He has been present with us in the time of difficulty.
Most of us are not facing the armies of an aggressor or fighting for our lives in a life or death battle but our struggles do, nonetheless, cause stress and anxiety. We worry about the things we need to do, we grieve over things we’ve lost and we agonise over decisions that need to be made. Often we can’t see beyond the difficulty and it is then that we ought to bow before God and remember the words of verse 10,
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Heavenly Father, thank You that you are with me in my times of stress and difficulty. I pray that you will help me to be aware of Your presence always. Amen.