God is always present, even in the most difficult times.
This is a difficult truth for many to hang on to, but the people in southern Mississippi received a tangible reminder of it after a devastating tornado ripped through the area, destroying trees and buildings – particularly at William Carey University.
After the dust had settled, campus staff returned to the school to find a mess of debris and busted up buildings and landscape.
But to their astonishment, one thing lay undisturbed: a Bible.
Not just any Bible, but a ‘fixture’ on campus, according to art teacher Rick Wilemon, who said the find lifted the spirits of everyone in town.
“It is remarkable that something so inspiring to our community is also inspiring to the nation.”
Incredibly, the Bible was opened to a very specific verse: Psalm 46:1, which reads:
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
What a beautiful reminder in the midst of a traumatic event. As the page continues, however, it gets even more incredible. Psalm 46 encourages us that no matter how threatening the danger is – whether it’s natural disasters that tear the earth apart, or whether it’s warring nations or oppressive kingdoms – we will not fear, because God is always there, and is always working things for good:
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 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.
Sometimes God shows up in the most unexpected ways – this was a touching reminder to those in Mississippi struggling to recover from this tornado.