Prayer 556 - Week 2, Monday
Monday - Walking in Fire
Some days are just plain overwhelming. I'm sure we're all familiar with the term "trial by fire." The trials and problems we carry make us wonder if we might not make it. Let's read these words from the prophet Isaiah that are filled with a promise for those times when we are "walking through the fire".
Isaiah 43: 1-2
But now, thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, 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.
When you read this Scripture -what sticks out the most to you? What comes to mind?
Does this promise ring true in your life? Why or why not? Take some time to talk to God about your answer.
Read through the Scripture once or twice more. What does God's presence and protection mean to you? How can it change the way you walk through this week?
When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear I am not alone I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me
In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You Lord,
You fight my every battle
And I will not fear...
-Kari Jobe, "I am Not Alone"
This was a tough one. The thing that sticks out to me in Isaiah is that as I read it, my mind flies back to the Exodus and the desert wanderings. What gave Israel the strength to keep pushing onto the promised land? It was always the reminder of where they were and how God delivered them from that. The waters and fire can be intense sometimes but it’s because our God is our deliverer, leading us out of sin and darkness and into light and life, promised to us in and through Jesus. He knows the way and we follow Him knowing we can trust Him.
When reading this devotion, I immediately thought of the 4 in the fiery furnace. Jesus is with us in the Fire when He is on the throne of our lives. I had read this in a book by Chuck Pierce which speaks of Fire on the altar. When we keep the fire burning on the altar of our lives through prayer, Scripture and Fellowship, we can be assured that He will always be with us. When asked to defend our faith, He will inspire us with His Word. He will keep us in His perfect peace as our hearts are fixed on Him. He has done it before! He will do it again! Sometimes it is hard for us to remember this when we are going through trials and difficult times. We clearly need each other. I love Hebrews 3:13 where it says, “ Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” It is great to be sharing in 556. Thank you Kaitlyn and all who are participating.
When I read this over several times, it jumped out to me that God is telling Israel (and now, telling me) that he has called me by name. And here's the evidence that you are mine: trouble won't consume you because I stand with you through even the worst troubles. It reminded me of a quote from Brene Brown I read the other day: “I went back to church thinking that it would be like an epidural, like it would take the pain away…. Faith... was not an epidural for me at all, but it was a midwife, who just stood next to me saying, “Push, it’s supposed to hurt a little bit.”
When I came back to Jesus, I knew there would still be fire, and water, and there has been. Sometimes it seems like both at the same time. But I can also say that he not only goes through it with me, but also guides me out of the other side of that furnace to a place where I can maybe breathe a little bit better, where birth can come from the pain.
As I looked through my calendar for the week ahead last night, I only have one appointment for the week. We had been sent a new iPad configuration for our dialysis machine and now we need to learn how to use it. The other appointment is a lunch with a friend. Now the iPad instruction seems like a simple thing, and I pray it is. However, it is supposed to transmit all of our information from our dialysis machine to the managers in Saratoga. This, I have learned from the past can be a huge undertaking. It sometimes takes weeks and months to get it to do this properly. And can lead to many many different situations and heart wrenching problems. So I am leaning heavily on the Lord as we begin the process. Many times I have looked at a week like this and thought “piece of cake“. Some of these weeks have had the most trials already awaiting me and I can’t see them. But God can see them and knows what is a big head. My body, like the dialysis machine, can be thrown into many different unseen dilemmas. I’ve learned that some pretty simple things can change the direction of my entire life when they happen. I must depend on God to keep my body working the way it should just like we depend on God to keep the dialysis Machine working like it should. The older I get, the more the “simple things“ seem to bother it. A low blood pressure for three days in a row might be a challenge that needs medical intervention. The most “simple things“ Might need more of God‘s intervention these days. I must spend time with God so that when these things occur I will be prayed up and ready. I know that he will be with me through the waters and through the fire when I read stories like Daniel. And I when I read stories of Moses and the Israelites coming out from Egypt I must depend on God to hold back the waters. Lord, I pray that you will be with me this week to prepare for anything that might occur. I know in reading your word that you have been with your people the Israelites as they came up against things that I’m sure they never saw coming either when they looked at their “calendar for the week“. Hold back the waters, Lord. When I walk through the fire of this week Lord continue to keep it from consuming me. I know you are with me at all times. Surely you are the protection in my life. I have walked through many a deep water and you have been with me at every turn. It used to be when I looked at an empty calendar that I had a sense of confidence. Now, my life is at a point where even an empty calendar can be filled with trepidation and challenges. Continue to show me Lord God that you are with me in every situationAnd at every turn. I pray Lord that you would hold me in your arms continue to shell Jeff and die that you have this. I love you Lord I love you Lord I love you in the Lord. Amenw
When I read this I immediately go back to the time that was extremely difficult in my life and the only thing that got me through was my faith. Praying every day and knowing that God would turn what was happening into good, I had to stay true and faithful and keep walking through the fire and he did! I know that when things seem to be burning up all around us, or we feel as if we are drowning, it’s the hardest time to remember that we are not alone, even though it’s the time we most need to remember. I had to say a prayer similar to this every single day as a reminder. God is my strength, he is my refuge!
The Lord is forever with us. As with the Israelites, God will never leave us or forsake us. I like to put my name in place of "you" when reading. I have called Linda by name; you are mine. When I do this it helps me to remember that I am His, I'm not alone, and no matter what fire or deep waters I'm go through He is with me, and if need be He will carry me. One set of footprints in the sand.