“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.”
Isaiah 43:1-2, NLT
“YARNELL, Ariz. (AP) — July 1, an Arizona forest fire into an out-of-control inferno that trapped and killed 19 firefighters, nearly all of them members of an elite crew of “hotshots,” authorities said Monday. It was the nation’s biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years.”
“This is as dark a day as I can remember,” Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement. Firefighters have a dangerous job. They put their lives on the line.”
The promises here in Isaiah 43 meant to prepare us, and promise us.
Fires burn and consume. Floods keep growing and multiplying. Yet in this world full of fires and floods, we have these promises of His presence in the middle of it all. He intends to be right there when things are going very, very wrong.
And dear broken believer, trials and tribulations are a fact of life for us. Life is often full of badness, but my God, we learn. (Oh, how we learn.) You may be struggling now, but we are being made into something wonderful.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.”
1 Peter 4:12
No surprises– burning trials– something strange? Hardly, it’s just the life of a saint, as he travels home to heaven. And isn’t heaven is worth just a little temporary pain? (I walk with a cane, so I’ll be behind you a bit.)
The reality is this, the Isaiah verses declare that there will be floods, and rivers to cross, and fires and flames. These are going to happen. But, the Lord does promise that He will walk with you, as your Companion, and Protector.
“It is quite useless knocking at the door of heaven for earthly comfort. It’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.”
We are looking to be given comfortable things, naturally easy things. Like lots of money in our bank accounts, bills paid off. A redesigned kitchen would be nice. And one of those huge refrigerators (big enough to hang a cow in.) A new VW Jetta, maybe. But this is not the comfort that God is supplying us.
You may have to shift things in your thinking. But maybe you have already learned this, and might just need a tiny reminder. There is a definite upside to this– the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is standing at your side, and you will know his true comfort and assistance. It is a promise. And it is yours. (But not the VW, most likely).
2 thoughts on “Prepare for Flames and Floods”
“…we are being made into something wonderful.”
It sure is hard to see that something wonderful in me.
Thanks for this article, it struck home in many ways. A dear friend lives near Yarnell, and was the first to tell me of the tragedy, even as her car was packed and positioned for a quick evacuation is the fickle fire came too close. A week later, from the porch where I am staying, a huge fire broke out on the horizon. Just before the Lord sent the rains that would give the firefighters a leg up to douse the nearly 30,000 acre blaze, I viewed 250′ tall flames devouring the landscape, at one point rising into a fire-nado. I was struck, could not take my eyes (through binoculars) off the inferno. The loss of human lives, of landscape and wildlife was so disturbing.
I am reminded of the Scriptures in this context that you send; it is warmly and gratefully received.
I write this in the face of biting anxiety and consuming depression. Blessed be the name of the Lord. He gives and He takes away. He has pity on us as a Father does. He will not put more on us than we can bear. Our fire shelters WILL hold up to any fiery trial we face in this world. I watched an instructional video on the use of fire shelters; there were many spiritual lessons there.
The unpredictability of the wildfire was, in that moment I watched, seductive to the point of fixation. I had to turn my gaze away and, with all my strength, turn it back to my God. He is Himself an all-consuming fire, Who will ‘back blaze’ the enemy for my salvation in the face of fiery trials. In the end, the trial of our faith is more precious than gold, and we will receive a crown of Life that will never fade away. Love to all fellow broken believers. You are not alone.
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