“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 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.” Isaiah 43:1b-2
There’s nothing like a disaster or a tragedy to get us back on our knees. Isn’t that so true, though? Days, weeks, and months pass by, and in our busyness and self-sufficiency, we forget about God; we forget our need for Him. Then, unimaginable circumstances come crashing down on us, and the force of it all brings us to our knees and causes us to raise our heads and our cries to the God of Heaven and Earth, the God that has always been there but perhaps we’ve been too busy for.
When we look at it with this perspective, we might even begin to see a glimpse of good in pain. If nothing else, the painful, trying circumstances of our lives more often than not bring us back to our rightful place – on our knees, at the feet of Jesus. After 9-11, we saw in our country what appeared to be a returning to the Lord. God’s name was written all over billboards across the country and spoken of freely in mass media. But, as the sting of that terrible day began to fade, so did our renewed focus on the One who gave us hope in the midst of our pain.
These sudden acts of violence that leave a long trail of painful fallout often serve us a very important reminder: we are in constant need of Jesus Christ. We were created to be desperate for Him, and not just in the trying times – all the time. When we choose to remain under His care, guidance, and authority, we experience the peace that comes with His protection when the unthinkable becomes reality. In no way can I understand the depth of pain that the victim’s families are experiencing right now, those left behind after the brutal Colorado shooting. But one thing I’m certain of is this: God’s Word is true, and His promises are always fulfilled.
Isaiah 43 regularly reminds me of the hope that can be found in my Savior…every moment of every day. We see many promises in this passage, beginning with the promise that we will experience fiery trials. It’s not a question of “if”; it’s a question of “when”. However, the promise that we will meet the Lord in the midst of the fire is where hope is found. The promise of His constant presence provides a hope that we can’t put a price tag on. He literally speaks over us as His children, “I am with you!” Because He promises us His presence, we can be certain of His support and strength to face whatever fire we are forced to walk through. It’s not our own strength that will get us through, rather it’s the Lord’s strength that will see us safely through to the other side.
My prayer for those affected by the tragedy of the Colorado shootings is that they would know the hope and peace that God provides for those that He calls His own. I pray that those who do not yet know the hope of glory will be found on their knees in desperate pursuit of Jesus Christ in this dark time, and that they will find the One for whom their hearts were created to worship. I am praying for God’s promises to be revealed even in this devastation. Will you join me in praying for Colorado?
There are far too many things in this life that we just don’t understand. Pain, loss, death…we are left broken at your feet. Our hearts ache for those experiencing the depth of this pain. Yet, today we call out to you again because we know that you are faithful. We know that you are good. We know that man’s sin does not change who you are. You remain the same, and your promise remains for those who seek you. Father, we lift up the families and friends of those who lost someone they loved in the shooting last week. We pray in faith believing that you are present with them now, tugging on their hearts, revealing yourself to them, and turning them towards saving faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray that each life lost would reap a harvest of souls for your Kingdom. We pray for a revival to sweep across this land, a renewed desire and passion for your name. We pray that those left behind wondering who you are and where you are in this tragedy, will be brought to their knees as Emmanuel, God with us, shows up and provides a peace that surpasses their understanding. God, you alone are able to make beautiful things out of our dust and ashes. Bring beauty from this devastation. Bring glory to your name. Bring hope to hearts that have lived without hope for too long. Bring yourself. Thank you for the promises that you give us in your Word. We now cling to them. We cling to you, Jesus, for you are our hope, our refuge and our strength.
In Jesus’ name,