Life brings us obstacles. Some are small and are just a nuisance. Others build character in us. Many are so big we know that without God it would be impossible. In Isaiah 43:1,2 God gives some life giving words to Israel and to us.
"But now, this is what the Lord says--he created you, O Jacob, he who formed you O Israel; Fear not, 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; 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."
I am doing an online study of Isaiah and the author pointed out that the analogies of the waters, rivers and fire may point to events in Israel's history. For example, in Exodus the Israelites passed through the waters of the Red Sea and then 40 or more years later they passed through the Jordan River. In Daniel, we have the story of Meschach, Shadrach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. God has literally done what he is promising here. My obstacles are not water, rivers or fire. In fact my obstacles are not very big in comparison with those. Right now, my main obstacle is not knowing the language as well as I would like. Other obstacles of mine include: the fear that comes when my son is late coming home from school and I can't find out why; trying to stay on track in training my children in the way they should go; how do I do what God has called me to do. Sometimes I find myself forgetting that God can overcome and work through these things. I need to be reminded that God has a great record of keeping his promises. If he can part the Red Sea, He can surely help me communicate in a new language. If God can hold back the flooding water of the Jordan, He can hold back the fear that overtakes me and replace it with His peace. If God can keep three guys safe in a fiery furnance, then He help me as I train my children to navigate a world that needs God desperately. As I take this verse to heart, I am calmed that God is with me in all things big and small. I am redeemed. I am summoned by name.
Almighty God, you have proven yourself time and again. No problem or obstacle is too big or small for you. May I not give in to fear but believe in all things that you are with me and will work through the situation even if it means you have to part the waters. Thank you for your leading and guidance. Thank you that you have redeemed us and called us by name. Amen