Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Isaiah 43:2

I can't take credit for the following thoughts--I heard them in a sermon once, but can't remember who was preaching. Nevertheless, I was reminded of that message again as I read Isaiah 43:2 this morning:

"When you go through deep waters, I [the LORD] will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown."
Why did God include references to two bodies of water in this passage--deep waters and rivers? Because both are dangerous in their own way.

Every human being walks through long and difficult periods of life that seem hopeless and daunting. Extended illness of oneself or a loved one, financial difficulties, or the consequences of a bad choice may cause us to feel we're drowning in deep waters. Exhausted, we simply tread water to keep our heads above the surface - the water's edge is a mere mirage any more; we doubt we'll ever see land again. Yet with a personal pronoun, the God of heaven and earth, Maker of time and space, the Covenant-Keeper, says, "I will be with you." No maybes. No conditions.

But not all of life's difficulties are lengthy and prolonged. Sometimes, they come at us like a rushing river, bowling us over with no warning or time for preparation. A trust is suddenly broken, a loved one hurts and disappoints us, a catastrophe or natural disaster occurs and we are knocked off balance by the powerful stream that runs over us, leaving us gasping for a breath before we go under again, all the while struggling to get our feet underneath us. Yet this same God of heaven and earth, Maker of time and space, and Covenant-Keeper says, "you will not drown." No maybes. No conditions.

I don't know where you find yourself - in the deep waters or the rivers of difficulty, but moment by moment today trust in his character as you tread water or gasp for breath, remembering he said, "You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you" (Is. 43:4).

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