Mary’s life today as an office manager and single mother is vastly different from her previous years spent with an abusive husband. Her married life involved intense cycles of injury and apology. When authorities finally ended the violence by jailing her spouse, Mary moved to a new location. There, friends and family helped her begin to rebuild her life after her painful ordeal. During the healing process, Mary was able to co-found Healing Hearts Ministry as a way to help others rebuild their lives after the trauma and devastating effects of domestic abuse.
The people of ancient Israel had to deal with the fear, trauma, and effects of enemy invasions. During those frightening times, God wanted them to know they could trust Him as their ultimate source of help. God said He would be their “strong arm each day and [their] salvation in times of trouble” (Isaiah 33:2), the One they could depend on as their “sure foundation” (Isaiah 33:6).
The Israelites needed this image of God as a solid place to stand when they faced the threat of large-scale violence, death, and loss. An Assyrian victory would result in the collapse of their communities and way of life (Isaiah 33:7-9). They would be marched away to a distant land and have to permanently identify themselves as citizens of a new nation. Everything would be in flux.
Times of transition show us our undeniable need for God. Whether we’re escaping an abusive relationship, breaking free from destructive habits, or trying to turn a long-held dream into reality, we need something steady to hold on to. God is our unchanging rock (Malachi 3:6). Through it all He’s pleased to steady us with knowledge, wisdom, and the assurance of our salvation through Jesus.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 7:13-29
Meditate on Romans 12:4-10 and reflect on how believers can encourage and support each other during difficult times of transition.
Which attributes of God make Him the ultimate refuge when life is uncertain? How can believers be a tangible expression of God’s goodness during difficulties?