A rock you can count on
Have you ever been in an earthquake? I’ve been through several earthquakes. The area in Pakistan where I grew up as a missionary child was on one of the major fault lines, and we would feel them at least a couple of times a month. When I was in the military, I was stationed in Athens Greece when one hit there. Earthquakes can be terrifying. I think they are the scariest of the natural disasters. You get some warning with hurricanes or tornadoes, but earthquakes hit without warning. And the worst thing is that it shakes our confidence in things we trust in most. All our senses and experience tell us that the ground is firm, we can rely on it, we can build on it, put skyscrapers on it, put all our weight on it. We can trust it. But in an earthquake that is taken away from us. Even one of the things we feel like we can trust the most, the stability of the ground, is taken away from us. And you see the devastation they can cause — in Christchurch, New Zealand or in Haiti, even the great cathedrals crumble.
The psalmist in Psalm 62 has had some unsettling moments. This a Psalm of David. He is in his place of prominence, a palace, solid, on his hill, but his enemies have come after him. They are battering, pushing at him. They are lying to and about him, trying to bring him down. His solid place, his solid position as King is shaking, his enemies are causing an earthquake. But how does he react? For God alone, my soul waits in silence, from him comes my salvation, he alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress, I shall never be shaken. All that chaos around him is not affecting him, he has something more firm to rely on. He can wait quietly for the most solid rock of all, the most unshakable thing of all, God, his salvation and fortress. And the reason David can rely on him is set out in verses 11 and 12. God is the one, the only one, with true power, and the greatest thing of all is that that power is tempered and controlled by God’s steadfast love.
So as the earthquakes in life hit you, as things seem in chaos around you, and some of your basic assumptions on which you trust are shown to be shaky, how do you react? Where do you turn? What do you do? Well, it should be what David does: For God alone my soul waits in silence. That is where your salvation comes from.
REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.