Water is powerful – a necessity for life and also a threat to life when it surges out of control.
There is One who is always in the midst of the waters, bringing life every day and sustaining life when it is threatened. This same Spirit is with you now.
Feel and know the Spirit's presence.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
It’s been said that we learn who our friends are during hard times, because they are the people who stick around to help. In today's text we see that God is the ultimate friend who sticks by us when our worlds are falling apart. I will be with you, the Lord declares, no matter what you’re facing. Do not fear.
Why? Because we belong to God; we belong to the One who promises to be with us in the flames and the floods. What a powerful friend to have! God protected the Israelites by parting the Red Sea so they could leave their lives as slaves behind (Exodus 14:21). God protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were thrown into a furnace (Daniel 3:26-27). God has that same love and commitment to us.
What floods threaten to overwhelm you? What fires are you facing in your life? God says, "Do not fear.I will be with you."
Holy Spirit, thank you for being a friend who sticks by in troubled times — loving me and protecting me. Amen.
Beside the healing stream,
Drink in the Spirit's power.
In the midst of the whelming flood,
Know the Spirit's care.
Let the Spirit carry you
As the river carries a vessel
To its destination,
To its home.