Martin Luther knew what it was like to face a crisis. His life included nailing the 95 theses to the Wittenberg door in protest of the selling of indulgences, being called before the Diet of Worms (That is not what it sounds like. Worms was a town and a Diet was an assembly.) and being excommunicated by the pope. When Luther was called before the Emperor to defend what he had taught and written. At the end of his speech he spoke the famous words, "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me."
Luther’s favorite Psalm was the 46th. It begins, “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.” During the darkest hours, when Luther was discouraged and it seems his efforts were futile, he would say to his friends, “Come let’s go sing the 46th Psalm.” If you have been in church where they sing the old hymns you have probably sung the song Luther wrote based on Psalm 46, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
Midway through the Psalmist invites us to, “Come and see what the Lord has done.” God had miraculously had brought victory to His people. (Many believe this was based on the events of II Kings 18, 19) But as the Psalm comes to a close He quotes the Lord saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Then the Psalmist explains why we can be still and trust God to care for us, “The Lord Almighty is with us.”
In the midst of our coronavirus crisis, I think we can learn from Luther’s favorite Psalm to be still and know that God is God, He is with us and He will care for us.
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.