The Big Bad News Wolf

Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change…”

I’m sure you remember the story. The one about the pigs and the wolf? Well, just in case you somehow missed it, here is a quick review. Seems that “once upon a time” there were 3 very industrious (not to mention highly intelligent) pigs. For reasons unknown to us they decided that the time had arrived to build themselves a personal place of residence.  (In case you are curious, I did do some research. I am not entirely convinced of the authenticity of this account. I found very little supporting evidence that any of this actually happened.) Pig number one built a house out of straw. Pig number two built his home from sticks. Pig number three who had previously taken masonry classes at the local community college built his home from bricks.

Now, aside from their mutual desire to be homeowners, the pigs also shared a common enemy, one wolf to be exact. For reasons that are still not quite clear, this wolf took it upon himself to destroy their homes. It seems that in addition to his anti-pig sentiments this wolf also possessed the ability to create vast amounts of wind by blowing hard through his mouth. (Some commentators speculated that said wolf might actually have been a predecessor to the modern-day politician.) He “blew down” the houses of both pig number one and pig number two. Fortunately (or unfortunately in the case of the wolf), the house made of bricks was able to withstand the wind barrage from the big bad wolf. According to local eyewitnesses, “he huffed and he puffed but he could not blow down the house.”

Bad news can be a lot like the big bad wolf. It stands outside the door of our hearts and threatens our safety and security. It bellows at us unceasingly, pronouncing both doom and destruction. From without we hear its worst case scenarios and it’s guarantees that in the end our world will be left as little more than a pile of rubble. It threatens to devour us. It threatens to leave all we cherish in ruin. Bad news taunts us. Bad news teases us. Bad news terrorizes us. The peace that we once knew vanishes into a painful routine of stress filled days and restless nights. Honestly? The big bad wolf has nothing on bad news. Most of us would probably agree that given our current situation and problems we would rather face the wolf any day of the week.

The Psalmist might not have known about the big bad wolf but he certainly could relate to bad news. The opening verses of Psalm 46 paint a horrific picture. In my mind I see something akin to scenes from the movie “2012.” Think apocalypse. Think end of days. World wide destruction, chaos and confusion. His world is facing tremendous upheaval and turmoil. It is a time of trouble. It is a time of terrible tidings. But in the midst of it all the voice of God resounds with crystal clarity. No matter what happens we do not need to be afraid. God is with us. More than that, God will help us. When the uncertainty of unexpected and unwanted change begins to raise its ugly head? Do not be afraid. God will help us. When all that we once trusted for stability begins to slip and slide? Do not be afraid. God will help us. When our very life seems like it is being shaken to its very core? When we do not think we can stand for one more day or make it through one more night? When we find ourselves surrounded by trouble and feel tempted to just give up? Do not be afraid. God will help us.

God is our refuge. God is our strength. God is the brick house that can and will withstand any and every storm of life. Let the big bad news wolf come. Let him dance around in the courtyard. Let him shout his threats. Let him huff and puff all he wants. But the house build upon faith in a God who is a very present help in times of trouble? That house will not fall. No, never. Not by the hair of its chinny chin chin.