by Kate Perkins
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.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
God keeps bringing me back to this verse from Isaiah 43 over and over again. He keeps emphasizing that He is WITH me. At first the thought was simply comforting. God is with me. I’m not going to the grocery store alone. He’s there to talk to… to bounce ideas off of… to enjoy.
The next week, WITH hit me in a whole different way. God is my father. He protects me. He holds my hand when there is danger or the day is dark. I’m safe because He has my back.
The next week, God was still talking to me about WITH. I remembered that Isaiah 43 was a huge chapter for the DTS I staffed last fall. God brought it up a bunch then too. I started thinking of what it meant to the Israelite’s that God was WITH them. After He delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt, He led them through the wilderness with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. A friend who’s been to Mount Sinai pointed out to me that it’s very hot there. The cloud was not only God’s visible presence WITH the people, but it was also a source of shade and relief from the heat. And at night when the temperature dropped drastically in the desert, the fire provided heat. God is so thoughtful!
When Israel finally crossed into the Promise Land, WITH meant rocks falling from heaven to win battles… the sun standing still… city walls collapsing for no reason at all.
I find my confidence growing as I consider this God who is WITH me. I’m learning there is so much more we can do together than I ever thought possible.