This poetic psalm has a lot to say about the way we perceive our circumstances. In the first three verses, it says, “…though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea…” and later it exhorts, “be still and know that I am God”. The psalmist’s poetry is about the coming together of pain, circumstances, hope, and trust.
In the confusing swirl of the human experience, there is a constant river. An image for the presence of God in our lives. The Kingdom of Heaven.
We often read these kinds of psalms and think the “comfort” comes through changing our circumstances. That when verse six talks about the earth melting, it means our troubles are eliminated.
The river flows through all circumstances. These verses do not require the earth to stop giving way, the mountains to not tumble into the sea, the nations to stabilize, or the kingdoms of earth to be reinstated. It is saying that throughout all of the pain we may endure, the constant river of God’s presence flows with a magnamic consistency throughout it all.
No matter what pain we are facing today, no matter what trial or situation will show up as our day unfolds, the presence of God is available. He is here. And that comfort is the stuff of Heaven, which melts away the oppressive power of our worldly circumstances.
“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.”
– Psalm 46:4-6