A Very Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear…be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:1-2a; 10

This year my One Word is Strength. I just finished up lesson 1 of Donna Pyle’s Your Strong Suit. On day one, Jan. 1, I popped in the DVD to watch the first teaching and I cried all through it. Why? Because what a first day to kick off talking about strength, and that’s what she did. She talked about being strong in the Lord, and why his strength.  She talked about the enemy and how he strategically plans out his attacks. He’s methodic.
I encourage you to skip over to her website and purchase the study for yourself. Not because I love Donna and she’s a friend, because the teaching it amazing and sound. During the first lesson, while digging into the Word, I ran across the verse above and something struck me. Had I read it before? Yes.
But this time, the word “very” hit me. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and the thought, “‘Very’ isn’t necessary here. God, you could really tighten your writing by omitting it.” I’m sure His heavenly brow arched as He said to Jesus and the Holy Ghost, “You two hearin this? The student is trying to school the Master.”
And after a slight grin, I decided if it’s in the Word, it’s for a reason. And I want to know why?
God isn’t just my present help, He’s my very present help. “Very” in the Hebrew is, “ma’od” and it means, “exceedingly, much, might, force, abundance, to a great degree.”
Hang with me, I’m going to break it down in just a minute.
God is our REFUGE, shelter from rain, storm, danger, or even falsehood (lies)
God is our STRENGTH, from material, physical, personal, social, political trouble.
A very PRESENT help, “matsa” to find, attain to, secure, to meet, encounter, to come upon, to fall in with, to be gained to hit, to happen upon.

In time of TROUBLE, “tsarah” meaning “straits, distress, vexed.” From the root word, “tsar” meaning, “narrow, tight, adversary, foe, enemy, oppress, hard pebble.”

What this verse is trying to convey so powerfully is, When we are hurt physically, emotionally, materially (finances), when lies threaten us from others from the enemy (we do not fight flesh and blood but powers and principalities)socially–when friends betray us, do not stick by us, doubt us, leave us, offend us…
We can find an exceedingly, abundant, source of assistance. A refuge to protect us when we get into tight spaces when the enemy throws hard pebbles at us. Pebbles are small to God the Rock, but when thrown at simple flesh, they cause much pain.

God wraps us in His loving arms, securing us, wiping away every hurt. Every hurt. And pebbles bounce off Him, shielding us.

We have no need to fear. We have a strong place to find assistance.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.
The word “still” in the Hebrew means “to relax, drop it, abandon.”
Whatever has hurt you, whatever you’re afraid of, stewing over, concerned about, stressing over can be dropped and abandoned in the refuge and shelter of God.

Relax.

Know He is God.
Some of my favorite verses to read  when I’m feeling helpless, alone, frightened, uncertain, when I know I need to relax and remember who it is and what it means to be God is from Job, as He reminds him how small Job is and how big God is.
38-39. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?…Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment, when I fixed My limit for it…when I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!’…Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused dawn to know its place?…Have the gates of death been revealed to you?…Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble…Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belts of Orion?…Does the hawk fly by your wisdom?…

40:9-10

“Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor and array yourself with glory and beauty.”

Our strength isn’t in these flesh tents we drag around each day. It’s in a God Who defines might, strength, protection, and solidity.
A God this strong who knows how to caress us as if with a feather, yet fight for us and protect us with fierce love…and strength.
Relax.
He’s got this.

Do you struggle with relaxing–being still? What are some things you can do to try and “be still”?

Come by Living by Grace, the facebook devotional community for women and let’s talk! You never know when your words will encourage someone else who might be lurking!


21 thoughts on “A Very Present Help

  1. Beautiful post, Jessica. I drew strength from it.

    I do struggle at times to be still.

    I find for me, that looking at the sky – clouds, sunsets, stars, the sunrise, I find that stillness where I can feel God breathing. I think it's because I'm looking up to heaven.

     
     
  2. Love this! More uplifting than my morning coffee. 🙂 Yeah, I do find it a struggle to be still. Not to be confused with being lazy, 'cause that comes pretty easily to me. But actually being still before God, letting him be my help and peace, I have to practice at that…time spent with God in the morning definitely helps. But I have to train myself to return to that morning mindset throughout the day when other stuff gets in the way.

    These Wednesday posts on strength are definitely going to become a weekly reading highlight!

     
     
  3. Okay, I love how you took a closer look at that very. Such a powerful impression.

    Thanks!
    ~ Wendy

     
     
  4. Love! God is too good. Just got off my knees in morning prayer, tears, piles of kleenex over a few pebbles and one large stone that's been thrown this way (ohhh, one was aimed at my daughter, that breaks a mama's heart!) and God so powerfully spoke to me through this. You pulled some of my favorite verses and pictures. Gonna go grab another kleenex now. And relax. Cause 'He's got this':)

     
     
  5. My word (actually, words) for 2012 is "Be still." For me, "Be still" means slowing down and being in God's presence. As much as I love multitasking, it's not doing me any favors in my relationship with God or my relationship with my family for that matter. This year is about making the decision to focus less on being busy and more on being still and learning to listen to what God is trying to speak into my life.

     
     
  6. I always thought I was strong until my mom got sick and died when I was a teenager. Then there was nowhere else to turn and I ran into God's arms, wondering why I had never done so before. I had always been such an independent go-getter. It can still be difficult not to fall back into that, but rarher to pause and consider whether I'm trying to fight battles alone. If so, I need to invite my Warrior along.

    Beautiful post.

     
     
  7. Just absolutely, perfectly what I needed to hear this morning. Loved it. Thank you! I'm sharing this!

    ~Cat

     
     
  8. Beautiful! Thanks for breakin' it on down for us and sharing what He shows you!

     
     
  9. Just what I needed this morning. Thank you!

    And our ladies' Bible group is going to be going through Donna's study this spring! Squee!

     
     
  10. Morning, everyone! I'm so glad to see you're being blessed by what I'm learning. That blesses me!

     
     
  11. "Flesh tents"–I like that description. And what a FABULOUS photo to go along with this post. Thanks for the thoughts and reminders!

     
     
  12. What a great post! I love how you dug into the Hebrew to get to the root meanings of the words. That really exposes what God is trying to tell us! Thanks for the encouragement.

     
     
  13. Beautiful post! Thanks for taking the time to delve deeper into the Word and sharing it with us. It was very encouraging to read this morning. 🙂

     
     
  14. Fabulous reminders up there, Jess. It is SO hard to be still sometimes (I know there's one translation that translates be still as "cease striving." LOVE that!).

     
     
  15. We're so in sync! 🙂 I was thinking of that exact scripture reference today – "be still and know that I am God." Beautiful insights, as usual!

     
     
  16. Amazing to see how your editing eye took you to a different place with this. Thank you for sharing!

     
     
  17. Wonderful post. Love: "Relax. He's got this." So, so true.

     
     
  18. Yes I do struggle. So much so that I think it's our natural tendency to want to wrest control from God (and then worry about it), rather than letting Him take care of us like he wants to. :-/

     
     
  19. Yay and amen!! I don't struggle to be still, really. I kind of thrive on quietness but…sometimes I think I need to be more busy than what I am.
    Hmmm. Something to chew on today.

     
     
  20. Jessica, I'm giving God ALL the praise for how He's working in you through the study He laid on my heart. After reading your words here, YOU should have taught it, Girlfriend! I love your insights on very. Most of all, I love how much you love HIM. Hugs!

     
     
  21. Great post, sometimes when things really stink the "be still" scripture is the best thing for me 🙂

     
     

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