“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1b-3a (NLT)
Recently, I was listening to a book and there was a quote in it by Francis Chan. The quote went something like this (this is not exactly what was said because I was driving). “I am confident and live in confidence that God loves me. I belong to him. He is faithful to lead and guide me to be the person he wants me to be.”
What I want to add to that sentence is “And he won’t let my life fall apart.” And then I concede that that part might not be true. God tells us in the Bible that we will go through tough times (i.e. deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fires of oppression.) It doesn’t say if. It says when.
Why? Why do we need to go through waves so deep that we have to tread water? Why do we need to feel like we are being overcome by the currents that threaten to carry us away? Why do we need to step into the fire? (Do I sound like a 3 year old asking why to a parent?)
The best answer I can come up with today is that God might want to get to me to a place (in my core self) that I won’t voluntarily go by myself. I am certainly not going to step into a raging whirlpool. And when he takes me there, I will find a faith I did not know I had. I will build a trust in him that I didn’t even think possible.
Suddenly, my faith is not about how something looks or how smoothly it will go but about God and how I feel about him. It becomes about me trusting his plan and not mine.
In all the vagueness of this and the fact that my why questions do not get answered, there is one thing I know. That the Holy One of Israel, my Lord and God, he will be with me. That is enough to get me through.