I confessed to a friend that I was a bit nervous about a recent doctor’s appointment. It had been a long journey to get to this point, and I much prefer being the doctor than the patient. I knew what the doctor suspected, but I didn’t like any of his hypotheses, and the time had come to hear what he concluded after receiving the results from recent tests he had ordered.
As I hung up the phone with my friend, the nurse called my name. My time had come. The nurse escorted me to the exam room, took my vitals, and sat down at the desk to enter my status into the computer in my medical records.
Within minutes she stated, “The doctor will be with you shortly,” then walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.
My husband had gone with me to the appointment but had to leave to tend to an emergency before my appointment was over. So, there I sat, alone in the exam room, wondering what I would walk out facing. As the nurse left the room, my gaze scanned the rather sterile surroundings and landed on something I couldn’t see before while she updated my information into the computer.
God is my refuge and strength.
Across the tiny room, on the other side of the desk, sat a framed picture with the words from Psalm 46, “God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble…therefore we will not fear…” It went on to paraphrase the entire Psalm.
I pulled out my phone that I had previously turned off for the appointment, and pulled up my Bible app, to read the Psalm for myself. A few things struck me: in the first verse, it read, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
I don’t know about you, but that amazes me that the God of the universe is always ready to help in times of trouble.
It went on to say in verse 7 that “The LORD of Heaven’s armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.”
God is my fortress, my safe place in the storm.
Oh, how I needed that. I needed the knowledge that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was there with me. I was not by myself in that exam room waiting for the results. I was not alone, despite how I felt. God was right there. “The God of Israel is our fortress.” I found myself with new determination that that was where I was going to hide—within His fortress. No matter what the doctor declared, God would be my fortress, my safe place in the storm.
Then in Psalm 46:10, it said, “Be still, and know that I am God!”
As I read the words, I realized I had a choice to make: I could either worry, fret, and let my emotions run away with me, OR I could choose to take every thought captive, believe what He says in His word that He is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble, he is a fortress in which I can hide, and that the Lord of Heaven’s armies is there with me, and all I need to do is be still and know that He is God.
The fact that that was a framed piece of art not just in a doctor’s office, but in the exam room that I would wait in waiting for me (I’d been in other exam rooms at that office before and there was no such picture), is just proof that God is our refuge and strength, and He is always ready to help in times of trouble. He knew what I needed that morning and He met me there.
I determined to do as it said, and “Be still and know [He is] God.”
Nothing takes God by surprise.
None of this takes Him by surprise. The same God that holds the universe up with one hand, takes hold of me by my right hand. We will get through this together, day by day, moment by moment.
But this wasn’t just for me. Someone else needs this encouragement that no matter what you are going through right now, whether it is also health concerns, or relationship difficulty, or financial strain, or some other trial, God is your refuge and strength, your ever-present help in times of trouble. You can take refuge in Him. You are not alone because the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is right there with you in your situation. Just be still and trust that He is God and He is helping you right where you are.
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
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Yes, He is our Refuge and Strength. He always amazes me too, with His presence when I need Him most. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Thanks for sharing this encouraging story.
Sweet, Michelle … You are precious. Your tender heart and strong dependence on God are a light. Love you!
Such a powerful passage! Your story reminds me of something that happened to me a few years ago. I was undergoing some tests and was alone in the room. When the nurse asked me what kind of music I’d like to listen during the lengthy test, I asked for Christian music. She apologized and said she didn’t have any. So I said classical would be fine. After a few minutes in that cold room, I recognized the tune of a well-known hymn that had been lifted from the piece. The words were well known to me and so comforting! I hope your test results were the ones you wanted, but I know that God is faithful no matter what.
I love how God arranges comfort for us before we even need it!