“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.” Isaiah 43:2
“He’s up again?” I asked, bleary-eyed.
“What’s his deal this weekend?”
“I don’t know, but this is just ridiculous.” I rose from the bed for the fourth time that night and moved towards the screams, in the darkness.
“What happened?” he whispered.
“I smashed my foot on this metal thing on the bed.” I responded, an edge in my voice.
The screams continued, and I hopped on one foot over to his crib. I bent down and lifted the soft, crying bundle into my arms. As I carried him back to the bed, I prayed a silent prayer. “Lord, give me strength”.
As I thought about it the next morning, sipping on hot coffee in an overstuffed chair, my baby napping peacefully, I wondered about that prayer. Was it the right one to pray? Why didn’t I pray, “Lord, help this boy to fall asleep”, or “God, please keep him sleeping for 12 hours in a row”? Those were prayers that, if answered, would solve my problems.
Or would they?
What would happen if the Lord answered every prayer we prayed asking Him to take away the trials in our lives? Would we be happier? More peaceful? More joyful?
Or would we be shallow, hollow, and people of surface-level faith?
Isaiah 43:2 says the Lord is with us when we pass THROUGH the water and the river and walk THROUGH the fire. It doesn’t say He airlifts us out of the challenges that come our way and keep us from facing trials, but He is with us as we walk THROUGH them.
It is in the THROUGH that we encounter the presence of the God.
What trial are you facing today? A fussy baby? A husband or wife that seems distant and disconnected? A child that just can’t be controlled?
Or maybe its an internal “fire” you’re living with. A secret sin, a deep insecurity, a fear you cannot shake.
My hope and prayer for you today that you wouldn’t get stuck in that place, but that you would walk THROUGH it, looking for God’s presence as you take each difficult step forward. And know that His promise to you is that the rivers of worry will not sweep over you and the fire of fear will not set you ablaze.