for me

But now, God's message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: "Don't be afraid. I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end - Because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell of the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. So don't be afraid: I'm with you. I'll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west." Isaiah 43:1-5 You would think this would be an easy pill to swallow.

You would think...after reading this would feel particularly blessed or encouraged.

Well, you're right - to a degree.

This morning, I read the passage for the Band of Sisters weekly challenge. I smiled as the warm fuzzies started crawling up my arm and made their way to my soul. But then I read it again. And again. And I typed it into the "upload new post" box. Slowly, I started getting a very different feeling from the passage.

He says when.

He says when you're in over your head....when you're in rough waters...when you're between a rock and a hard place...

He doesn't say if. This isn't a possibility. It's a promise.

And that knocks my comfort idol right off its pedestal.

I think about where I'm at now - the possibilities waiting in the distance, the phone calls I haven't received, the opportunities available. I have an idea of how I want things to go. I have this "if-only" complex I can't seem to shake. None of these scenarios include me going through rough waters or getting in over my head.

But it will happen. He promised.

This is a tough pill to swallow. This is what caused me to take a second glance at the passage.

I think I've been reading this wrong. I think, in my over-Americanized Christianity, I read it as "God will get me OUT of situations" or "God will help me AVOID this problem." But nowhere in the passage does He mention this. A life void of any conflict or problem doesn't seem like the life He wants us to have....

but He's for me. He watches for me. He paid a price for me. He'd sell the world for me.

And while the truth of me finding myself in rough waters or between a rock & a hard place is frightening and brings tremendous discomfort, the promise of Him being there with me provides me with enough encouragement to make it another day.

Posted on July 30, 2010 .