When you go through deep waters and great trouble, 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.
Friend to Friend
I am an avid reader. In fact, reading is one of my favorite ways to escape the chaotic pace of daily life. I also enjoy browsing through bookstores, especially the ones that provide cushy chairs where customers can sit quietly and read without being disturbed.
It is easy to tune out your surroundings and lose yourself in the pages of a good book. I was doing just that when I heard a familiar voice. Looking up, I spotted one of my friends, Carol, who was asking an employee where she could find a new suspense novel that had just been released. The young man quickly handed Carol the book from his personal stash behind the counter and went back to work. I watched a smile spread across Carol’s face as she examined her new treasure while gently turning the book over in her hands and flipping through pages. Carol then did something I absolutely could not believe. She turned to the last several pages of the book and began reading.
It was time for an intervention. I was ready for the task.
I quickly put the book I had been reading back on the shelf. I needed to focus on the obvious needs of my friend. With a quick wave, I got Carol’s attention and made my approach. After a quick hug, I said, “It is so good to see you. How have you been?” We spent a few minutes catching up on what was happening in our lives.
I could not help myself.
“Are you buying that book?” I asked. It was an honest question because, for the life of me, I could not understand why anyone would want to buy a suspense novel when they already knew how it ended. Excitement danced in Carol’s eyes as she responded, “Yes, I am. I can’t wait to read it. The ending is awesome!”
Now I can understand reading the first few pages or scanning the table of contents before buying a book.
I can even comprehend reading a few paragraphs here and there to get an idea of the story line. That makes sense to me. Carol’s perspective did not.
“Okay. I have to confess that I saw you reading the last few pages of the book. Why in the world did you read the ending? Won’t that spoil the story for you?” I asked.
“Not at all,” Carol quickly responded. “Before I buy a book, I always read the ending to make sure I really want that particular book,” she explained.
It was worse than I thought.
Seeing the look of disbelief on my face, she laughed and admitted, “I know. It sounds crazy, but I have to know that everything turns out okay before I commit to reading the book.”
The more I thought about Carol’s words, the more I realize that, as followers of God, we need to do the same. We need to live every minute of every day knowing that no matter what we face, we can truly say, “God’s got it!”
When the bills are piling up, and we don’t see a way to pay them – God’s got it!
When our child is going against everything we believe in and stand for – God’s got it!
When we need a job, but every interview and application leads nowhere – God’s got it!
When the doctor says the test results are not good – God’s got it!
When our marriage seems to be falling apart – God’s got it!
When we focus only on what we can see and understand or explain, we will worry.
Fear and doubt will become familiar companions if we live each day against the backdrop of this broken world and our desperate circumstances.
Our only hope is God.
And it is not enough to just know about Him. We must know Him. A personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ assures us that no matter what the world throws our way, God’s got it.
Father, I am tempted to worry about so many things. Our world is a mess! Forgive me for focusing on anything or anyone but You. Thank You for the Bible that equips and empowers me to live each day. Right now, I declare that You are my only Hope. Please help me remember that You really are in control.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read and memorize Isaiah 43:2: “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, 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.”
Make a list of your fears. Surrender each one to the loving control of God as you pray through Psalm 23. Then destroy the list as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God’s perfect peace enthroned in your life.
More from the Girlfriends
Need help? Mary’s book, Escaping the Stress Trap, transforms the promises of the Twenty-third Psalm into easy-to-implement, practical steps that will hand you the keys to stress management. The chapter-by-chapter study guide is ideal for both personal and small group studies.