*This summer at Providence Church we are spending time in the psalms together. Each week during June and July we will be posting written responses by a member of our community from their time meditating on a particular psalm. Go here to read others in the series. This week’s reflection, which will be the final one in this series, is from Brandon Reyes:
The last eight years of my life have been replete with one major life change after another. In 2005 I moved from grad school in Salt Lake City back to some previous work in Mobile, Alabama. In 2006 I moved to Bronx, NY and changed career paths entirely. It was here through teaching that I experienced extreme failure and inadequacy on a level that I had never felt before, met my wife at the same time, and got engaged. In 2007 I got married, changed career paths again, and moved to Connecticut to my 5th apartment in 2 years.
In 2008, child number one arrived. In 2009, child number two made an appearance. 2010 showed up and I moved my fledgling family to Austin, TX. Since arriving here we’ve fought off scorpions, become home-owners, undergone health scares and surgeries, committed ourselves to a church, and attempted to guide our two boys from tots to toddlers to happy, thoughtful youth. Change has certainly been an ever-present companion.
Throughout it all, however, I have found myself clinging to the truth that is so beautifully on display in Psalm 46. When I feel that the world is going to overwhelm me, God is my fortress and my refuge. When I find myself unable to lead my family through the next hurdle, God is my strength and my help.
When I forget this and try to lean on worldly institutions, my own strength, or so-called wisdom that is contrary to Kingdom of God principles, I find myself once again in the corner, battered and bruised by the crashing mountains and waves of life, calling out to the God of Creation to take my hand and guide me once again. I find that my challenge each day is to trust God long enough to put down my weapons of greed, hatred, judgment, and hurtful words to name a few, and to simply love others, to “be still” and trust that God is in absolute control of the outcome. Each time that I am able, God never fails to show himself faithful.
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.” As I get older I am realizing more and more that my citizenship does not belong in any one place, or even in a world without borders. It is in the Kingdom of God. It is only here, among the people of God and under the Kingship of Christ, that I begin to find ultimate fulfillment. It is only here that I can truly experience life and peace like a river. Change is inevitable; thank God that in the midst of it all I can take refuge in a fortress that is unshakable.