A friend of mine told me years ago that worry is a subtle form of atheism. If that is true, I have symptoms of subtle atheism. Not really, but like the psalm from a few days ago, I frequently ask myself “why are you downcast, O my soul? Put your trust in God.”
Psalm 46 has words to defeat the worrisome and stressful subtle absence of faith. From the beginning words of “a very present help in trouble,” to the ending oft-quoted verse of “be still and know that I am God,” this psalm is a Biblical refuge for those in need of God’s protection.
There is no pie in the sky here. Believers are not immune from a healthy dose of reality. Yet, even if the earth is moved, mountains shake and fall into the sea; even if oceans roar, nations rage and kingdoms fall, the writer declares his refusal to give in to fear. He knows God is with him and in Him, he will take refuge. He knows God is Elyon, the most High God who can make even the wars of the earth to suddenly declare peace.
One dark night the disciples were fearful that they would be drowned in the Sea of Galilee and woke the Lord, asking “don’t you care that we are about to die?” Jesus instantly calmed the storm and then had a question of His own: “Where is your faith?” They too had a question of themselves, “Who is this that commands even the winds and water?”
Excuse me, as I need to read Psalm 46 again and then go speak to the gathering storms. I need to tell the winds and water that I am renouncing my subtle atheism.