I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
What a year it’s been. It has been almost a year to the day since we got the call informing us schools would be closed before and after spring break. We were nervous but hopeful that this would all be behind us by Easter, or by Summer, or by next school year, or by…. Yet here we are.
If anything, this year has taught me just how little control I have over any given situation. I cannot control my life circumstances. I can’t 100% protect my family from harm. I can’t make anyone do something they don’t want to do – and sometimes that includes myself. I’ve spent countless hours doom-scrolling through Twitter or Reddit when I should be doing something more productive or healthy. But I felt the ever rising tide of anxiety washing over me.
Today’s verse, after a year of fear and uncertainty, reminds me of the One constant in life – the Lord our God. He is a refuge in the wilderness. He is a fortress we can run to when the enemy presses in. When we can’t trust the news or social media or our political leaders, we can trust God.
Does this mean God will always keep us 100% protected from all harm? Not necessarily. In fact, this is the very Psalm Satan quotes to tempt Jesus into jumping off the roof of the Temple (91:11-12). But Jesus fires back not to put God to the test.
It reminds me of the Stockdale Paradox. Admiral Stockdale was a POW during Vietnam. Other POWs with him would put their hope in being rescued by a certain date – Christmas, Easter, or other significant days. These soldiers fell into despair more quickly. Why? This is what Admiral Stockdale said:
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
I trust God as my refuge and my fortress. But this doesn’t mean I won’t face hardship or sickness or uncertainty or pain. Jesus is our ultimate example of this. “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow” no matter what tomorrow may bring. God is with me in the storm, even the ones he doesn’t calm.