Today we are going to a funeral. There will be tears and hurting hearts and brokenness. I will hug children, my nephews and niece, who will never get to hug their own mother again...who will never feel her arms around them, will never hold her hand, will never hear her voice again. It will be an emotional day.
These are deep waters.
I know people who are hurting. People with deep heart wounds who are struggling just to make it through each day...struggling to hold it together...struggling to just remember to breathe. Feelings of loss, betrayal, loneliness, depression...they can wrap tight around a soul and make you feel like you are sinking, drowning, unable to catch your breath.
These are deep waters.
Some of my favorite verses are in Isaiah. Chapter 43 begins like this, the first four verses:
"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. 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. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.' "
I just love those verses.
"When you go through deep waters..." Not IF you go through them...WHEN you go through them.
This life is full of deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fires of oppression...storms can beat down hard...waves can rise high and crash down fast...flames can press in and strip us of oxygen, making it hard to breathe.
But God promises some pretty incredible things: "I will be with you...you will not drown...you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Why? "...because you are precious to me...you are honored...I love you."
I just can't get over that. I am precious to God. He loves me.
Yes, there will be deep waters.
Yes, there will be difficult, hard, challenging, heart-breaking times...but God loves me.
This is the God who calmed the raging storm, whose voice the wind and the seas obey...the God who joined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in that fiery furnace, full of flames made "seven times hotter than usual", and they walked out without even a single hair singed...the God who sealed the mouths of the lions in that den and rescued Daniel from certain death...the God who parted the sea, straight down the middle, and made a way for His people when there was no way...the God who made rocks pour out water and manna fall from the sky...the God who healed the sick and raised the dead....who RAISED THE DEAD....this God who gave His Son to prove His love...this God...THE God of the universe who holds all things in His hands and can do anything...He. Loves. Me.
So even in the deep waters...even in the hard times...I can thank Him and I can praise Him. Because His love is deeper than the deepest waters...because His strength is made perfect in my weakness...because He makes paths through impossible rivers...because He is writing a bigger story and He's working it ALL together for good. I can trust Him. Because all of this life...every single little thing...even what seems "bad"...even when we don't understand...He's got it. And I can have peace, because He is with me...through it all.
I made a little graphic to hang on my wall...to remind me of these verses.
You can print one out too, if you'd like...just click on the size you would like and it will take you to the PDF. :)