God is within her, she will not fail Psalm 46:2
God designed our bodies, minds, and souls to work together. This can be both good and bad. When part of us is weak, the other parts have difficulty too. That’s bad. My Twitter friend, Drew Dyck, writes about this in his book Your Future Self Will Thank You,to help us sinners, procrastinators, and quitters learn to be more self-controlled. He writes about the link between hunger and mercy by using an example of judges. It’s almost freeing to know that judges who haven’t eaten lunch for the day hand out harsher sentences. Now, I feel better that I’m always saying, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.”
The good part of our whole selves working in synergy is when we write, paint, draw, or work with our hands; something powerful happens in our minds and souls. I owe some of my healing from grief to Bible journaling. I would read a passage of scripture. A verse would encourage me, and then I would draw and color a picture, while meditating on scripture. Quite literally, I felt the Lord pour color back into my soul and life. God performed a miracle in me using His Word, color, creativity, and my hands.
Recently, Psalm 46:2 has made the rounds on Instagram. I’ve read where well-known authors and women’s Bible teachers condemn the “Instagram Bible.” That is not what this article intends to do. As an artist and broken-needy-survivor of physical, sexual, emotional abuse, the death of my son… i.e. Life in a broken world riddle with sin, I need the color and physical work of drawing and painting the Word into my heart and mind.
However, as I contemplated Psalm 46:2 being used to encourage women that since God is in you, you will not fail, it bothered me deeply. When I limit this verse’s pronoun, she, to me, I limit its power to transform my life and become myopic in my understanding of salvation. The she in this verse is Jerusalem. The capital of a united Judah and Israel and future home of all Believers.
Jerusalem points us to the completion of God’s beautiful plan of salvation.
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21-2-4
If we apply this verse to ourselves, we stray dangerously close to an egocentric gospel. Our focus becomes our feelings, wants, heartaches, and desires. We stop short of gaining the perspective of eternity. Our eyes stay fixed on what is before us, and our desire to succeed. But, what happens when we fail. I have failed many times at what I believed worthy endeavors for the Lord. I found Nik Ripken’s book the Insanity of God at just the right time. Also, the New Testament records the Apostle Paul’s failures as much as his victories. It seems like for every church he planted, he was also kicked out of town. But God’s plans never failed. God established His church and saved souls. Sometimes earthly failures are eternal gains for us.
As we understand the “she” to be Jerusalem, God beckons us into His sanctuary. Instead of giving the message to women that they are brave enough, strong enough, or powerful enough, we allow them to be who they are, human: frail, fragile, fractured, frustrated, fickle. But God isn’t any of these things.
God sets us free to believe in Him instead of ourselves. Right now, you feel fragile and fractured. Could it be that anyone who has experienced what you have experienced would feel the same way? Honestly, I get frustrated at my own fickleness. Today, I love God with my whole heart, and by tomorrow morning I will be worrying again.
We can stop trying to establish our kingdom here on earth and rest in His kingdom. Possibly the very thing we are trying to accomplish won’t even matter in heaven. Maybe the very thing that is plaguing us is the very thing God is using to purify us, so that we understand His truth and see Him more clearly. Could our failure on earth gain for us immeasurable more in heaven.
Now, you may be saying, “But I need this verse to apply to me because I’m facing trouble and I need to know that I’m strong enough to endure.” Consider this. We need to stop looking inside ourselves. Instead, when times of trouble come and our whole earth trembles, the mountains topple, the water roars and the mountains quake, we run to our God, and HE lifts our heads pointing us to eternity, where factions will cease. He will bring unity to the whole world not just our souls. Every teary eye will be wiped dry by His hand. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass. Unfortunately, the verb “will” is still very present with us. Until then there will still be wars and fighting, pain and grief. As we face the brokenness of this world, we should personalize Psalm 46:1 instead.
Because we know that it’s in times of trouble that God can seem far away from us. Our focus remains on God who is the One we hide ourselves in. He is our strength. His plans never fail. Perhaps it seems silly to you, but to me the change of focus frees me to accept both failure and success. It’s not about me. The slogan changes from “She will not fail” to “Her God has never failed.” This allows me to topple and my faith to grow from the fall.