Christian reflections

When You Walk Through the Fire * 10 Minute Devotional

10 Minute ThursdaysI am not a fan of many of the Bible’s “when” statements.

Take Isaiah 43 for example:

When you pass through the waters…
and when you pass through the rivers…
When you walk through the fire…

No thanks. I’m good. I’d really rather not pass through the waters or the rivers. That sounds scary and overwhelming and drown-y. I had a kayaking run-in with a wild river back in my college days that left me permanently fearful of rushing water.

Fire’s even worse. Last year I walked onto our porch to the smell of smoke. My eyes burned. I asked my husband, “Is someone barbecuing?”

“Nope,” said the California native. “That’s a fire. Probably one of the canyons.”

Sure enough, a canyon ten miles away was on fire. Ten miles. It was a small ten-acre fire, put out by our heroic California firefighters within the day, but the acrid smell lingered in the air for much longer. Our preschooler cried on the playground and insisted on going back inside.

Fire is terrifying. I’d rather not walk through it, thank you very much.

If we’re honest, we want to avoid pain and suffering. It’s pain and suffering after all. Yet time and again Scripture uses “when” statements to talk about some scary stuff. Suffering. Fear. Terror. Death.

It’s not if we will experience these things. It’s when.

Hiding or running will get us nowhere.

So then, what do we do?

We go with God.

Isaiah 43 

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, 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;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I will be with you.

Perhaps the sweetest five words in the English language.

Following Jesus doesn’t inoculate us against pain and suffering. We will lose loved ones, fall ill, and suffer disasters of every shape and size. Jesus hung on a cross, after all. But because of who God is, we do not have to do these things alone.

I think of the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego being thrown into a king’s fiery furnace for their faith. When the king peers into the flames he is shocked to see four men when he only ordered three put to death. Who is the fourth?

I will be with you.

I think of the story of Mary, weathering the shame of an unwed pregnancy, riding on a donkey into Bethlehem, carrying the Savior of the world in her womb.

I will be with you.

I think of just this morning when I watched my husband being wheeled in for surgery. Only minor knee surgery, but still – I don’t love having someone I love under general anesthesia.

I will be with you.

Not only does God go with us, but he knows us intimately. “I have summoned you by name,” proclaims Isaiah, “and you are mine.” Not only does God go with us, but he knows us. Who we are, what we need, where we are headed.

It’s tempting to run from the “when.” But when we can’t escape, when the fire is raging or the flood is surging, it helps to remember that we don’t ever face them alone.

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2 thoughts on “When You Walk Through the Fire * 10 Minute Devotional

  1. Beautiful. Now that I’m back to reading blogs I need to add you to my list! Seriously, what a joy to “hear” you and to receive truth at the same time.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Heather! You were part of my intro to blogging inspiration! I’m so happy you are writing again!

      Like

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