When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)
Imagine you are standing on a riverbed of rocks. Suddenly, out of nowhere a rush of water plows into your ankles and is quickly rising putting incredible force on your body. You can’t move because the rocks have become treacherous and the path out is uncertain. Fear begins to consume you and you let out a cry to God for help. As you look down again, you see a wall surrounding you so the water is diverted around your body. This is what God is trying to share with us in this verse. No matter how impossible our situation looks, God is standing there like a wall around us. He is protecting us even as we stand in the middle of the storm. We will walk through deep waters, rivers of difficulty and fires of oppression. But we will not do it alone.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)
Did you ever play hide and seek when you were little? If you were ‘it’ you would search for all the players who were hiding. You had to look everywhere. You opened doors, looked under things, behind things, moved aside any obstacles (like clothing in a closet) to find your playmates. A lot of times you had to be very creative to find folks with really good hiding places. And sometimes, you had to go places you really didn’t want to look (I am reminded of my Aunt’s basement where my cousins and I played). Seeking God is a little like this. Not that he’s hiding from us but in the seeking part. It does require participation on our part. We should be looking for him everywhere. We should open doors, look under things, behind things and move any obstacles that will keep us from this relationship. And sometimes, we have to find him in place we don’t really want to go. Those are the places that he shows up the most. So go ahead. Put your heart into it. Seek him. I guarantee you will find him.