Isaiah 43: 1 – 3
But now, this is what the Lord says—
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 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;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;
In one of my wedding addresses I tell the happy couple that as they grow together they will come to know when a pat on the shoulder is needed, when a full embrace is needed, when to open the champagne, when to make a cup of tea and when to pour a double brandy. In other words, as we grow together we come to know each other we can tell these things without having to think it all out.
How much more then does God know us and what and when we need?
We all have times in our lives when it seems the way forward is difficult at best, and impossible at worst. When we are desperately seeking the end of the rope so we can tie a knot in it and hang on until better times arrive.
That is the time that God comes again and reminds us of the words he gave Isaiah all those centuries ago, the rivers of life will not carry you away, you will not be overwhelmed, the fires will not consume you, we are told. Our natural reaction could well be, “Yeah that’s easy for you to say, try being me at the moment”.
During WW2 news came that the only son of a family had been killed at El Alamein, the minister went to visit his parents. As soon as the father opened the door he yelled at the minister “And where was God when my boy was being killed?” before he could answer the mother apologetically asked him through to the living room and went off to the kitchen returning with her husband and the tea tray. The father was about to say something but the minister beat him to it “Where was God when your boy was being killed? I would think he would be where he was when his boy was being killed”.
God protects us in the dark times because he has been there and knows what its like and how afraid we will be.
Much has been said about how the amount of people watching on line services each week, how many more people are now praying regularly, even people who have never prayed before.
God is with us!
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will not fear because we know you are with us, but when we doubt that, when we do feel afraid, give again that assurance you are with us and will never leave our sides.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,