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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Water and Fire

We don’t expect to encounter floods or fires, and when they do come, they often seem to come suddenly. Yet the Lord has said: “when you pass through the waters … and through the fire…I am with you” (Isa. 43:2). It is “when” these things come that we can experience His presence in the midst of them. Our story is not of enduring the trauma, of surviving the difficulties that threaten to take us under, but of the One who keeps us from being overwhelmed by the water and scorched by the heat. He is the God whose presence is with us and who makes a way for us.

The waters that threaten may be powerful and roiling, but He “makes a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters” (Isa. 43:16). When these things happen - the threatening pressure of the water and the heat of the fire - His promise is certain: “I will be with you.” That’s it, that’s everything! We can face what must be faced because of His Presence. He knows our distress. He sees and is not indifferent (Ps. 31:7). He will never fail us, never forsake us, never leave us on our own. His joy and peace are deeper than any current troubles, any looming threat. Always. He is with us always, and this promise stands in every confusing complication.

The passage in Isaiah 43 assures us: “You are precious in my sight …you are honored and I love you” (v. 4). What a potent, beautiful, enduring declaration to us. God stands before us and declares we are precious to Him, that He both loves and honors us. In our fires and floods, we can recall the goodness of the Lord, his faithfulness and kind intentions toward us, keeping that fresh in our mind, trusting His faithfulness. If we don’t remember His goodness, we falter in trust, hesitate to take hold of the promises and vacillate in fear. But when we recall the enduring goodness of the Lord, our perspective is enlightened and our focus recalibrated. “We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance” (Ps. 66:12 NIV). We will come through floods and fires with Him, and He will bring us to a new place filled with a deeper understanding of his nature and love, with unwavering confidence in his goodness.

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