In the midst of God’s creation out here in Accident, Maryland, stand the markers of change. I wrote earlier about Bear Creek’s movement as it relates to our children. Next, the movement of autumn to winter caught my eye as the trees literally looked stripped of their leaves in a matter of days. This transformation coincided with Dave’s Mom’s move to a small nursing facility. Just this morning, emails arrived asking me to pray for people facing health issues, and for a pregnant woman who lost her baby seven months into her pregnancy. No certainties support us. Companies who promised retirement pensions default; the stock market fluctuates violently; our health status changes with one visit to a doctor. Where do we turn? What gives stability in the midst of living real life in a broken world? We yearn for stability that also reflects reality. To whom do we cling?
Moses, no stranger to tragedy, triumph, and unsettledness, wrote Psalm 90. In it he discovers rock solid stability, something we do not personally produce in this world. “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born, or you brought forth the earth, and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” Our aim then settles into a daily prayer as we live in the midst of transitions: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.” Next, Psalm 91 affirms that the Lord alone must root us in all changes. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” As we cling to Him, we “find rest for our souls” as the psalmist puts it, or that “the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” as Paul wirtes in Philippians. And these promises stand whether the creek moves on or the seasons transfer power and beauty for barren limbs.