“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; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God…” (Isaiah 43:2-3a NIV)
A friend of mine sent a text stating that he was praying for me and gave the passage of Isaiah 43. As I began to read the passage my thoughts went instantly to the above verse. Understand that Isaiah is speaking to Israel of a glorious future time when Israel would be delivered from all their oppressors as He did from Egypt. I think this also applies to Christ followers in our world today. Let me explain.
When a person accepts the salvation that Jesus has to offer, they are given the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen them during times of trials. Be sure that times of trials will come to each of us (the loss of a spouse or child; illnesses; cancer). Now here’s a shocking revelation for you…Pastors are not immune to these trials either. I know personally pastors, great men of God serving in often times lowly places, who have experienced the loss of a wife, the loss of a child and the sufferings associated with illnesses and cancer. Just recently, it has become a personal situation with me.
Anna and I have faced other situations when times were tough and God has brought us through causing us to be closer to each other and to God. Now a big challenge has come into our lives. I have been diagnosed with “Myelodysplastic syndromes which results from something amiss in the spongy material inside your bones where blood cells are made (bone marrow).” To say the least, this has been a shock to us. We do desire your prayers for God guidance in what lies ahead for us.
Here’s where the verse above is so important to me. As God delivered the Israel from Egypt, I believe He will deliver me also. Yes, He could completely take this away but sometimes we have to go through the waters–those times when other trials come along that may not be as tragic–the shallow waters or streams of life–yet we see God at work in them. These are to prepare us for the rivers that we often have to cross–raging currents–yet God said he would be with us there, too. These both prepare us for the fire that will come our way. Because God has been with us in the little trials of life, we can have confidence that He will be with us when the tough times come.
You, too, may be facing one of the stages of trials in your life right now. You might be in the middle of the stream or the raging river or even in the midst of the fire, therefore, as fellow believers we need to hold each other up in our prayers. Your husband may be recovering from heart failure or you may be going through your own battle with cancer. You may have lost your dad or mom or child. Trials will come (see my earlier blog “What if God says, “NO”) Let the words of Isaiah 43:2-3a comfort your heart at this very moment. That’s my point for today and I am praying for you.