Which Way to Turn

We were just returning from a short family hike, and paused to catch our breath near the parking lot. Suddenly, an off-leash dog came towards us, his owner in hot pursuit. The dog was almost as tall as my four-year-old daughter, and we had no way to know if he was friendly or a hazard.

My daughter had several options: try to run away from the dog, who was undoubtedly faster; prepare to defend herself, even though that would be hopeless; or seek help. As the dog trotted up and tried to jump on her, my daughter instinctively turned and grabbed my leg, looking for protection and security.

We live in a chaotic world. Many kinds of threats, seen or unseen, may rise up at any time. Psalm 2:1-2 says, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed.” Psalm 46:6 adds, “The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.” We see this kind of turbulence on international (think of eastern Europe), regional (think of lawless urban areas), and sometimes even local scales (think of hostility within neighborhoods).

When we see evil from afar, or when turbulence seems to take a personal interest in us, what do we do? We can try to run, but that would provide only a temporary solution at best. Sometimes we should try to fight, but the troubles may be bigger than any response we can muster. We can surrender, but surrender rarely stops evil.

Read all of Psalm 46 to provide the full context of the single verse quoted above. Go ahead and look it up; I can wait. The point is this: when trouble comes, we need to instinctively turn to God, our Heavenly Father, just as my daughter instinctively turned to me, her earthly father, so many years ago. Or we can turn elsewhere, which is futile. By God’s grace, let’s turn to Him.

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