God our Fortress

 

I’m not good at being quiet, being still. I’m always moving. Last weekend, the woman of God’s Tribe were provided a rare opportunity to spend time together in fellowship and a “forced” time of stillness before our God. We started together by introducing ourselves and saying who God is to us in a word or two as we lit a candle. A time to quiet our hearts and minds and start focusing in on our theme for the morning “Be Still and Know”.ladies tea2 We were then sent off to find a spot by ourselves either by the ocean, in the garden, in the house… just alone. We were challenged to think about who God is to us and to be still, quiet, and allow God to speak to us.ladies tea5

I started by reading Psalm 46 and meditated on that passage for the hour we were given:

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

ladies tea 6

As a sat on the beach, I wrote the following:

Todays’ question is, “who are you to me?”. I  started the day thinking you are my God who shows unconditional love. As I sit and read Psalm 46, I am struck by the words. As I sit here by the ocean and read “though its waters roar and foam…” as my heart breaks for Nigeria and the issues with Boko Haram. As people are dying and the world is scared of Ebola, as I talk with my students we both fear the possibility of it coming here, I am reminded you are our protector. You are our ever present help in times of trouble.

Psalm 46:10 has been by theme verse since deciding to move to Tanzania. All through the last year, it continues to pop up. I though new school year, new verse, but it seems you are saying it is not time to move on to a new theme verse yet. There is still more you want to teach me through this verse.

“The LORD almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.” It is said twice. Must be super important. What does it mean to be our fortress?

Fortress. A place of refuge. Safety behind walls. Looking over the beach, to my right I see a stone wall and think of how water can crash against this wall and it is not moved. The tide has receded a bit at this time so my friends are sitting on the rocks around the outside of the wall, vulnerable to the crashing waves. God, thank you for the image of us outside of you. We stray, venture on our own and become vulnerable to the crashing waves of life but your fortress is ever present. You call us to abide in you, in your fortress. You protect us. ladies tea7

I sat for a few minutes longer than we were called back together. A few people shared what they thought God had revealed to them, then we were challenged to respond in worship, how ever that might look. We could sing, create art, write, read, or just continue to be still before God. Ladies tea3

ladies tea4I choose to make a picture collage. I was really trying to wrap my head around the fact that God is our protector, our fortress. We put our security in walls, wire, guards, security companies, locks, alarm systems. They are all good, but they fail. Only God is our true protector.

ladies tea8I am thankful for a God who provides refuge in His fortress. A God who will protect me and loves me unconditionally and shows me that love in so many ways. This week, I am thankful that he showed His love through my God’s Tribe community through wonderful fellowship time and and revealing His desire to reassure me of His ever present protection. ladies tea1

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