Have you ever dreaded something so much you can just feel the dread in the pit of your stomach and the anxiety in your chest?
Have you ever gone through something that was so difficult it felt like a flaming fire all around you threatening to consume you? Something that was so strong and you felt so weak, and it felt like a tidal wave going to take you down?
Have you ever lost something you loved or stared at the ashes of a broken dream, wondering how you could trust God with what comes next when you don't understand why He took away what He did?
Well, I have.
I know what each of those things feels like because I have lived each of them in one way or another. And although I don't know you or what you're going through right now, I do know this.
You've felt this way too.
How do I know?
Because you're human and life is hard. Things don't go our way. Things fall apart. And sometimes it's hard to trust God when He does things differently than you thought He would. Sometimes it's hard to trust Him when you cry out for Him to save you from the fire of a trial you don't think you can bear, only for Him to ask you to walk through it anyway.
I felt this way when God took away a dream I had this year and I wondered how I could trust Him when I did not understand His plan.
And God placed this passage in my life over and over until the truth of it hit me one day.
"But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you."
That's when I understood. These verses became real to me and I finally got them. And I want you to get them too, which I why I've written this post.
Although this verse was written for the nation of Israel, I know it was meant for me and you too. Just replace "Jacob" and "Israel" with your name and it becomes that much more personal.
Thus says the Lord who created you, Bella...fear not for I have redeemed you...you are Mine.
Just as it was true for them, it's true for me. Just as it's true for me, it's true for you too.
The last verse of this passage encourages me the most.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned.
And honestly, walking through a fire or walking through deep waters is exactly what our lives can feel like at times. When God took away my dream it felt like the heat of this trial was too strong for me to bear.
Maybe you're feeling the same right now.
Like the situation you are facing this very moment is too strong for you to bear. It feels like the flames of this trial are too hot for you to stand against and they may just engulf you. Like the waters are too deep for you to keep your head above them any longer.
But the promise was never that we would not go through the deep waters.
It wasn't that we would never walk through the fire.
No, the promise was that when we did go through the deep waters, they would not drown us. They would not flow over our heads. The promise was that when we did go through the fire, it would not destroy us.
Thinking about that brings to mind this passage from Job 23:10--
"But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."
As gold must be refined by heat, the trials and tests that feel like giant fires around us, will refine us if we let them. If we let the heat of these trials cause us to turn to Him, instead of away from Him, we will become closer to Him and who He has created us to be. Then when the testing is done, we shall come forth as gold.
The first part of that verse is also a special reminder.
He knows the way that I take. He knows the way that you take.
He knows where you are right now, He knows what your heart is feeling, He knows your pain. And He knows because He is with you through it, right by your side.
I'm not saying it's going to be easy.
I'm not saying the pain won't be deep.
But I am saying that when you go through the fire, hold onto His promises. Believe in who He says He is, even if you don't feel Him all the time. Just because you don't feel Him doesn't mean He isn't there. Feelings lie. But the truth is always the truth.
And the truth is that when you go through the fire, He walks with you, keeping you safe every step of the journey. ♥
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.