I’ve shared before about how the last few months (years?) have been hard on Drew and me. In many ways, we’ve felt that it’s been our “wilderness,” similar to what Moses, David, Elijah, Jesus, and Paul went through. Three years (again sharing similarities between Elijah — three years of no rain — and Paul — three years of discipleship before he started his ministry) of wondering, wandering, and learning. Three years of waiting for something to change, for our hearts to be ready, for whatever God has planned for us to hurry up and start already.
I remember talking to Drew one day while we were still in college, him telling me that he believed we were about to enter our desert. And we were excited because we knew God would be working in us. If we had any idea of how difficult it would really be, I’m sure we would have run away from it. We would have taken any other direction possible. But we would have missed so many blessings along the way. Two miscarriages, months of unemployment and barely getting by, one healthy baby, and so many months of learning through questioning have brought us here. Where are we? Possibly at the edge of the wilderness, possibly further. But closer than ever before to being called out and called to our mission.
Yesterday, I read Isaiah 43:1-2 as part of my morning scripture reading. It’s directed towards Israel and Jacob, not to Gentiles. But I believe that it hold a very important truth for us today.
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“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. Isaiah 43:1-2
We are still being refined, much like Isaiah was before God called him to be a prophet (Isaiah 6). But while we are being refined, it’s so refreshing and humbling to know that God is with us. That the fire may hurt, but it won’t scorch. That the waters will be around us but won’t overflow us. That even when everything going on seems to break us, brings us to the edge, or seems absolutely hopeless, that God is in control of it all and that He won’t let us fall off the cliff. As overwhelming as it all seems, as alone as we feel, He is there with us in the midst of it. When I remember that, I can safely lean on Him.
Are you in the middle of a storm? How are you finding strength in God’s promises today?