When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, "Give them up," and to the south, "Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth - everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:2-7 (NRSV)
Samuel Driggers is from Georgia. An overwhelming number of commitments and a weighty course load left Samuel physically and spiritually exhausted at the end of the college semester. To make matters worse, the weather seemed to mirror his feelings; it rained for an entire week.
The evening before his last two exams, the rain subsided for a few minutes. Samuel walked hurriedly from the library to his apartment, hoping to avoid the bitter cold and the impending onslaught of yet another storm. His lack of rest amplified his anxiety, and he knew that he needed calm. So while he walked, Samuel prayed for rest and peace.
As Samuel neared his apartment, he paused on a footbridge. Usually the creek flowing under the bridge was quite small, but the recent rains had forced it beyond its banks. As water crashed over the rocks that usually kept it contained, Samuel remembered today's quoted verse: "When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you."
When Samuel feels overwhelmed, he remembers the overflowing creek and knows that he is not like the creek's submerged rocks. In the most stressful moments, God will not let his trials sweep over him. Instead God will provide calm, strength, and guidance. He will provide that for each of us if we only trust Him.
Prayer: Dear God, when we are overwhelmed, remind us of the calm, strength and counsel that faith in you provides, in Jesus' name, amen.
Pray for Pastor Jacob as he prepares this week for his next exam/interview to become a full elder in the church. May God bless his efforts and studies with a successful outcome, in Jesus' name, amen.