Gina Caswell Kelly
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God the Holy One of Israel, Your Savior.”
This is an amazing passage. There is so much in it that speaks to us today. This is one of those verses in my Bible that I have dates written beside that mark the times in my life when I was so desperate to know that God had me in His hand. One of the dates is January 5, 2016 and I have written beside that date, “It is mine!” I was claiming it for my own for whatever I was going through at that moment.
It is an amazing thing to know that the God who created everything, and has been around through infinity knows my name. He doesn’t just know my name. He CALLS me by name! To hear your name from the lips of the Savior is an amazing thing. How can this even be?! Who am I that He would bother to know my name? But, wait! There is more!
He promises to be with us. Now, I think most of us would agree that 2020 has been one of the most trying years on record. From start to finish. If it isn’t COVID, it is politics. If it isn’t politics, it is COVID! All year long. It is enough to make you want to crawl under your bed and hide until it is all over. And that is the other thing. We don’t even know when or if it will ever be over! But, God does.
He says “When you pass through the waters.” Think of those as still waters that are maybe just a little deep for you. You are not sure what is on the bottom, or even how deep the bottom might be. Just trying to navigate and keep our heads above water. Then, He talks about the rivers. That is the time when the water is rushing around us. We are not sure we can even hold our place, much less try to cross. But He is there. Through all of this, He is there.
Then He says, “When you walk through the fire.” First He says we won’t be scorched. Not even just a little. But not only that! He goes on to say the flame will not burn you. Why? Because He is with us. He is with us. He will never leave us. Oh my goodness can we just rest right there on that word alone! And in both of these things, He says “through.” He does not say “into.” He is not going to just help us as we enter into trouble. He will see us all the way through!
The other thing to notice in this passage is that the word “if” is not used. He does not say “if you pass through waters,” or “if you walk through fire.” He says when. It is a given. It will happen. Even if you are following God and doing your best, trials and troubles will come. No one will be left out. He knows it is going to happen and He is ready to see us through it all. Everything. Even 2020 and all its craziness.
Trust in the One who calls you by name and promises to be with you and see you all the way through. It will make a difference!