When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. —Isaiah 43:2a
As badly as my sister Joan wanted to attend college, she felt it was time to give up on that ambition. This had been her fourth attempt at the entrance exam, and again she had failed. “Try once again,” our dad said. Though reluctantly, she took his advice and wrote the exam for the fifth time. Today, she says, “Listening to that counsel from Dad is one of the best decisions of my life!” as she passed the exam and eventually became a successful graduate.
Just as my dad encouraged my sister when she needed it most, the Lord promises in Isaiah 43:2 that “ When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.” He reassures us of His divine presence, protection, and salvation through the thick and thin of life (v. 1-7). Even when all other things fail – including our parents, siblings, and friends – God’s love never fails (Isaiah 54:10).
What are the waters, rivers, and fire that you are passing through right now? What afflictions, trials, and difficulties of life? God is saying they will not consume you because He will be with you (43:2). No matter the situation that may be taking its toll on us, the Lord wants to change our bitter story to a glitter glory because He’s a friend indeed.
It is so wonderful to know that God is always with us regardless of who we are or where we are. This He demonstrated by sending His only Son, Jesus to die for us. Because of His great love, we are not consumed, for His compassion and protection never fail.
Reflection: What life challenge seems insurmountable right now? What experiences from the past remind you that there is nothing too hard for God?
Thank you, Lord for being my ever-present help in times of need. Help me to remember that in the middle of my hardest moments, I can always look to you, knowing that I belong to you and that you will carry me through.
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