HANDLING WHAT IS FOREBODING
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2
I know how people tend to view what is foreboding. Whether a medical diagnosis, news of unemployment, a dreaded family announcement, or something broader like a threat within our nation’s borders, we lean toward two reactions. We panic or we bear down to do whatever it takes to get through it. Anger and bitterness are waiting at the other side. Neither of these are God’s options for His children. If I see trouble ~
- What should I do first? Pray that God will deliver me from whatever is coming. Has He done that? More times than I can count. I think of the near misses on the road. I had one just last week when someone ran a stoplight with me in the middle of the intersection. The other car was headed straight for my driver’s door. We missed but I have no idea how except for God’s mighty hand at work. I’ll never know whether something is a plot from the kingdom of darkness until I ask God to deliver me from evil. I consider the times Jesus narrowly escaped those who would seize Him ahead of Calvary’s timetable. “Deliver us from evil” was included in our Lord’s Prayer for a reason and from His personal experience.
- What should I do next? Prepare myself ahead of time for what may be coming. The three who faced the fiery furnace told Nebuchadnezzar, “Our God is able to deliver us but if He does not…” When they went against the king’s decree and anticipated suffering, they were actively feeding their faith. Good survival strategies are not carved in the fire but before I feel the flames.
God told Isaiah that he would pass through the waters, not around them. On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus asked to be delivered from what was coming but He also prepared Himself for the will of God in His incarnation. His long night of prayer was a strengthening for what lay ahead.
Give me a distaste for spiritual laziness. Make me Your champion ~ always ready for the climb upward. In Jesus’ name, Amen