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Day 4: Thoughts on Japan and God’s Sovereignty

by on March 12, 2011

As more and more reports and images flood in from Japan, I realize how quickly information moves these days.  Gizmodo, one of the tech junkie sites that I frequent, has a live aggregation of all Japanese earthquake news. It’s crazysauce.  Anyway, I had worship practice this morning, and we shared some thoughts about the situation in Japan before practice.  One of my teammates read a Bible passage that seemed very appropriate:

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord.
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Ps. 46, NASB)

As terrible as the things that we are hearing about are, and as heartbreaking as the stories that we hear over the news or from friends and family who are directly connected to Japan are, we need to firmly believe that God is still sovereign.  God must be our strength, because the very mountains are falling into the heart of the sea.

This passage, specifically verse 10 (Cease striving…) is used to convince people that they should have more consistent quiet times (usually translated, “Be still…”).  When we read this passage as a whole, we see that it is more like a father telling his children to stop doing whatever it is that they’re doing that they’re not supposed to do.

It reminds me of just this evening when I was trying to put a diaper on E2.  I know he needs to wear this diaper, but he’s got other plans.  He’s crawling all over the place, and he’s doing that thing where he rotates his hips around, making it impossible to put anything on him.  It’s like trying to dress a fish, honestly.  But eventually, I have to lay down the law.  I look in his eyes and say, “HEY. MO YUK. NGAP PEEN. (STOP MOVING. PUT ON THE DIAPER.)”  He will usually lay down long enough to let me do what I need to do.

In the same way, we are “striving” around down here on earth, doing what we want to do and trying to determine what it is that we need out of this life.  And occasionally, God stares us down and says, “HEY. BE STILL. KNOW THAT I AM GOD.  I WILL BE EXALTED.”  We need to understand the sovereignty of  God.  Especially during times of pain and distress.

God will be our refuge and our strength, our very present help in time of trouble.

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From → Lent

One Comment
  1. The Wife permalink

    Very good. Make banana bread now?

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