“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2Daniel 13
I always considered my world and the world my wife and I introduced to our four children to be full of interesting people, places, and things to do. It was an expansive world. But extreme suffering can make that world grow small. At times those of us in the midst of pain even feel entirely alone. Ever since my stroke which took 75% of the right side of my brain, my world has shrunk.
However, as God promised in Isaiah, and as my family and I have experienced, He will be with us when (not if) we walk through the fire of suffering. Just as God walked with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 13:25), He does not leave us alone in our misery (Hebrews 13:5). Just as a good friend walks with you and is at your side in times of deep despair, so does the Lord walk with His people. And He never leaves!
Tim Keller explains the importance of God’s presence with us as we go through the trials of life: “Suffering can refine us rather than destroy us because God Himself walks with us in the fire” (2013).
Thank you, Lord, for walking with us in the fire. Thank you that nothing in this wide world can separate us from your love.