One of our young people was watching a documentary last week about climate change and rising sea levels. In the documentary, an island somewhere in Europe was sinking under the ocean slowly. They say at this rate in the future much of the earth’s land will be covered in water.
I thought for a moment what that would be like. I love water, but water is also one of the most terrifying things. Living on the water would be a nightmare for me. I would feel terrified if I were surrounded by water on all sides. Of course, I don’t give much thought to climate change and didn’t dwell on that.
Later in the day, I came across this scripture. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though it’s waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3)
We will not fear. No matter what. Even if all the land was consumed with the sea. Even if the towering mountains were covered with raging water and shaking with its swelling. Even then we will not fear. Why? Because God is our refuge and strength. Because hidden in Him, we are unshakable.
I don’t think the Psalmist was saying climate change will one day take over the land. What he is saying here, is that no matter what happens–pick the hardest most terrifying thing you could imagine –do you know that even if that happens, you can stand unshaken with no fear? Not because you are naturally not afraid, but because the peace of being hidden in Christ is greater.
The words fortified and unmovable have been on my mind a lot this month. Looking from the outside, things seem to be running smoothly. But if you could only see how the enemy is working overtime. This time has been a spiritual battle. The enemy has attacked with stress, severe computer viruses, sowing discord in relationships, discouragement, distraction, and every petty thing imaginable to get an emotional response.
I know that in Christ I am fortified. I know that I have been given everything to stand amidst any trial or attack. Sometimes it is a slow lifting of the hands, declaring through tears, “I don’t know why this of all things had to happen today, but I still trust You, Lord.”
Sometimes I am easily irritated and fall before the Father asking him to put a guard over my mouth so that I won’t release stress on those I love most dearly and am here to serve.
Sometimes my flesh says, “Just stay in bed, they don’t need you today, you don’t feel well anyway.” I have to stand and say “No, not today. There is still work to be done.”
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.1 Corinthians 15:58 (Emphasis mine)
Any labor we do, in the Lord, is not in vain. Even the repetitive mundane work has fruit. We may not always see it and when things seem to be falling apart more than coming together discouragement may dangle before our eyes. But always behind the surface, God is working. We can rest in the assurance that anything we do for the Lord is never wasted.
Much of the great missionary work that is applauded by those at home comes through hard labor. Years and years of the mundane.
The only way to make any impact, the only way to last, is through becoming fortified. The road we walk with Christ leads through the shaking of mountains and roaring of waves. It is only through keeping our eyes on Jesus that we can walk on with a smile.
Standing in Him, Rachel