1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
When I say that this last week felt like a long week, that is an understatement.
When I say that this last week was a phenomenally AMAZING week, that is an understatement.
When I say that God made himself known multiple times this week, that is an understatement.
This was my first Easter at Our Saviour’s and I was blown away! I felt the Spirit moving around this place. There were so many young families in the pews, so many of our middle and high school youth showed up, and the sun was shining, which allowed us to have the Easter Egg Hunt outside. The choir and bell choir played, there were so many excited voices of people catching up all over the church building, and the pews were full!
On Monday morning we jumped full steam ahead into the week, and we got to continue our celebration of Easter with our Midweek youth! The elementary youth worked on Easter wreaths and talked about the Easter story. The Middle School youth worked on evaluations and talked about the promise that comes with the cross while the guides had their final guide huddle. The High School youth continued to bond and worked on final preparations for leading worship. Then we had a youth planned, designed, and led worship service!! (WOOOHOOO!!! Way to go high schoolers!)
Then, we had youth group. This was not a night like any other. This was a night that I am sure I will remember forever. This was a night when walls came down, when the conversation got real, when faith met life head on, when truth was spoken, when vulnerability was welcomed, and when love was shared.
This was a night that reminded me why I followed God’s call on my life into youth ministry. Even when it is hard, messy, and tiring. This was a night that reminded me, that we have amazing young people who I am blessed to build relationships with and honored that families trust me to walk alongside their children in the muck of life. When the night was all over, and as I sat talking to my mom, Psalm 46 kept running through my mind.
“God is our refuge and strength.” We are safe in God’s arms, and that we can be weak. God will keep us safe and will be our strength when we’re not sure we have what is needed in the moment. “Come and see what the Lord has done.” We get to share the stories. We get to point out how grandiose our Lord is. We get to remind others that God is bigger than our understanding of God. “Be still and know that I am God.” We don’t HAVE to do anything. We can sit back and see what God is doing around us and know that God is God, always and forever, and we are safe in God’s arms! But we can also look around at where we are on this journey and thank the Lord that we GET to do some pretty amazing things. Even though God can do some big and scary things, we are cherished and loved just the way we are. What we think we cannot do, we can with God.
So this week, what would happen in your life if you clung to the fact that God is your refuge and strength? What if you were still for a moment to look at your life and know that God is God over all? What can you give total control of to God so that you can sit back and say come and see how great our God is?
We thank you that you have reminded us time and time again that you are bigger than we can comprehend. That you are God. Help us to take refuge in you, during the good times as well as the bad, and to let your strength carry us on a daily basis. May we continue to be reminded that you love us and care for us. And may we continue to share that love with people around us in a way that they can understand and accept.
In the name of your Son Jesus, who gave his life for all, we pray. Amen.