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Tim Throckmorton: Words of strength to get us through today’s times of crisis

Psalms 46 begins this way, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”

Over the years I have prayed this, taught this and even preached this scripture. I have written on the subject and even witnessed its truth in the lives of others I have ministered to as a Pastor.

More importantly, I have personally experienced the truth of this passage.

For the past few mornings as dawns early light began to illuminate our nation, we in America found many of our cities smoldering, boarded up and in ruin after many nights of protests and riots.

My heart aches for the injustice that took the life of George Floyd.

He was a man of faith. He was a father to the young men in his community and church. Our heart breaks for his family.

How we all desperately need the truth of Psalm 46 in our lives today.

It reminds us that God is a very present help long before we know we need it. A very present help even when we do not understand the seriousness of the problem or how to navigate in the midst of it.

But, what of the chaos?

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council writes this week, “Could there be a connection between the banishment of God, along with His truth from our schools and the broader culture and the steady devaluing of human life? In the march to push God from our corporate conscience, we’ve left behind the understanding that life has value not because of what it produces or where it resides, but because of Him in Whose image it was created. Only if we recognize the reality of a God Who is present in human experience and calls us not only to standards of behavior but of heart attitudes and convictions, can we keep from descending into armed enclaves of resentment and fear.”

Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, said this week, “You march, you pray, you make your concerns known, and then you follow that and vote in a moral way that is not going to kill anybody or hurt anybody,” she continued… his brother and his family is still saying, ‘don’t riot,’” she added. “Why would you burn down your house when you are supposed to be protesting the death of a man?”

In the midst of great loss, George Floyd’s brother, Terrance, shared on ABC news, “If his own family and blood are trying to deal with it and be positive about it, and go another route to seek justice, then why are you out here tearing up your community?”

My friend, Ken Blackwell, in a Fox News Op Ed this week said, “Rioting is no way to honor the memory of George Floyd. As the former mayor of Cincinnati and former ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council, I witnessed first-hand the truth of Martin Luther King Jr.’s immortal words: ‘The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged in the dark abyss of annihilation.’ We cannot let provocateurs and rioters co-opt our legitimate desire for justice and use it to wreak havoc on our country. This is common sense — not a ‘right’ or ‘left’ issue; this is about coming together as Americans and ensuring justice is done.”

O.M. Overton gave us these moving and memorable lines, “My Father’s way may twist and turn, my heart may throb and ache. But in my soul, I’m glad I know, he maketh no mistake. My cherished plans may go astray, my hopes may fade away. But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead For He doth know the way.

Though night be dark and it may seem That day will never break; I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him, He maketh no mistake. There’s so much now I cannot see, my eyesight’s far too dim; But come what may, I’ll simply trust and leave it all to Him. For by and by the mist will lift, and plain it all he’ll make. Through all the way, tho’ dark to me, He made not one mistake.”

In an 1865 letter from William Tecumseh Sherman to U.S. Grant, we find these words, “I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come if alive.”

What a help and for that matter what a friend!

And how much greater the love of God for you and I, especially when we need Him the most!  The promise of God’s presence and promise is still ours today. May we in America turn to and trust in Him together… today!

Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest director of Ministry for the Family Research Council.