Thursday, November 1, 2012
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
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,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead"
As I watched coverage of the devastation left in the wake of hurricane Sandy, these verses continually came to mind. I imagine, in part because of the literal references to water and fire - which were witnessed again and again.
These verses speak not only to the present, though. Rather they are intended to remind God's people that they have survived to this point because of His love and protection, His care and concern. He promises to continue that care and concern into the future -- in spite of what lies ahead.
I can't imagine what it's like to lose everything in a fire or to watch my house crumble or float away before my eyes. I was brought to tears many times, and was unable to wrap my mind around the devastation of the storm!
But I have had trials and struggles. God has brought me through each one to a conclusion of His chosing, His design, His plan. No I haven't literally lost all my worldy possessions. But I have had to give up dreams, struggle with life's battles, deal with the world and all it throws at me. On a personal level, it kind of sounds like whining, I guess, compared to what those in the path of the hurricane are dealing with right now.
My point is, that God doesn't just love and protect His people collectively, but also each of us, individually. When we walk through the waters of fear or doubt, or venture through the fire of sin or shame, God surrounds us and protects us - so that we can come out on the other side, renewed and reformed.
So many lives devastated! I pray for each of them and pray God blesses them, touching them with His grace and comfort through the days ahead. And that I remember them and their struggles, when I begin to feel burdened with my life situations.
Blessings on your journey,