I am a man of faith, who believes in the power of prayer. Yet, I am in a season where God has chosen not to respond to a pretty big prayer of mine. Well, He has responded, just not in the way I would like or the timing I would prefer. Sound familiar? It should…you’re breathing, so this is a common theme for each of us. Life has been a lot like a roller coaster the past few months; being frustrated, confused, and yet knowing that God is going to take care of everything far better than I could have ever planned. Present circumstances are not what I would like them to be and I am at a place where I have literally no clue of the next step to take. My plans “A”, “B”, “C”… are not even options at this point. And you know, as uncomfortable, painful, hurtful, confusing, and discouraging as it has been, there is definitely a calming peace that things are going to be OK. How do I know this? Trust me, I don’t always feel this way. Those are not fun moments! Yet, after I have grabbed a coffee, stopped trying to figure everything out, and just be still, God is kind to take me back…so I can remember what is true. He has kept His word…always. And He loves you and me so very much.
One of the blessings that can come from difficult times in life is we get to grow deeper in our faith. While not as always as consistent as I would like, for the past few months, I have been spending extra time in prayer and in reading my Bible. It is there, that I come across passages that remind me that I never walk alone. The truth is, God is always at work on our behalf. There is already a plan in place. So while God is revealing to us the next steps we are to take, He assures us that regardless of what we experience along the way, He is with us.
“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.” (Isaiah 43:2)
That passage can be both encouraging and discouraging. “Hurray! God’s promised that the rivers aren’t going to overwhelm me and that I will not be singed by the fire!” But…”It also says I am going to be passing through some waters and walking through the fire in this life.” Yeah, I put my confetti and balloons away, too. While there’s never a promise that you and I will be spared from the difficulties and pain that life has to offer, there is a precious promise that spans all of eternity and speaks loudly from this passage –“I will be with you.” The truth that I am never alone and that this present storm will not be the final word on my life means so much to me. God is at work on our behalf. He knows when we need to be let in on what He’s up to. He’s able to manage the details. We don’t have to shout at Him and ask if He sees what is going on. He knows every one of our needs and will meet them, just as He did before the crisis occurred and just as He will for the rest of forever.
When I think about what is true – that things are going to be OK, that He has, is, and will continue to provide for us, and that God will let me in on what He’s up to when it’s time, I’m not too focused on the rising rivers and fires. I’m on my way through both…and I’ve got a faithful Friend for this journey.