But now, this is what the Lord says – He who has created you . . . “Fear not, 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, their flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43: 1 – 3
Fear is such a basic human instinct. I recently read that it is “one of the most common and damaging emotions we can have”.
But, thankfully, God understands that about us, and it may be why the phrase “FEAR NOT!” is found in Scripture over 60 times. He knows it is our nature to fear, especially the unknown – those uncharted waters we haven’t sailed through before, especially the future for some of us who tend to fret and worry the most. And then there are the dangers we worry about – the ones that we know we and our loved ones are surrounded by every day of our lives – things we can never foresee or prevent. The psychological experts tell us to face our fears head on, and then they are no longer so frightening. We are to deal with them, gain victory over them, and move on. Easier said than done, isn’t it?
I remember a Ladies Bible study that addressed this issue, and we were to write down our 3 biggest fears. Then we were to think about what would happen if those fears came true. Of course, the answer is that life goes on, and God will be there to help us get through those challenging times. We have His assurance that He will give us the mercy and grace to handle whatever they may be.
Yet, we question and don’t understand why they occur, or why they might come to some people and not to others. We have seen and heard stories of horrible, tragic events that have happened to individuals and families, and we may think to ourselves that there is no way we could endure such a tragedy. Yet, we have seen evidence of those who have, many with a deep, abiding faith, who have gone through enormous pain and have handled it with such strength, grace, and trust in God. And hopefully by the grace of God, so would we. The human spirit is amazingly resilient, and God makes it possible to do so, as He carries us through these difficult times.
I am so comforted by this verse and its message. We see that God cares for His creations, He knows us by name, and He calls us His. He tells us He will be with us as we pass “through the waters and through the fires” of life. The experiences in our lives may be painful and frightening, but we have His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us – no matter what we may go through – flood, fire, accidents, illness, and even death. What a reassuring thought to know that we, or our loved ones, may not make it through to continue life in this world, but we have His promise that He will be with us as He carries us into the next.
We may not know WHAT the future holds, but we know WHO holds the future. I try to remember these words as I get anxious and fearful. He cares for us. He claims us as His own and is very protective and loving of us. May the reminder of His love and divine presence help calm our fears and anxious hearts. May we trust in Him.
Dear God, thank you that you carry us through the painful and frightening events in our lives. Thank you for your divine protection and for the mercy and grace you give us. May we place our fears in your hands and trust in you always. Amen