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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mighty Rushing Waters

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
Isaiah 43:1b-2a NIV

God seems to be intent on creating things to lift our spirits, provide us with joy, and for the believer stir up words of praise deep within our soul. This was exactly my experience when my husband and I visited Niagara Falls. I had been to the ocean and experienced the splashing waves crashing on the beach, but now this, an amazing display of rushing waters from the upper falls crashing down upon the lower falls! Never had I witnessed such power and such beauty.

I love the garden of my heart because it is usually so quiet and tranquil. Ever so often, God moves me out of the garden and allows me to experience his beauty outside of the garden. Moments of joy and praise always seem to accompany these experiences. Sometimes God provides me with a lesson that speaks to my spirit so strongly that even when I leave that place of beauty the experience continues to live on in my heart. Such was my experience at Niagara Falls.

As I stood on the rim of the falls with my husband I began to think of how really fragile I am. My life can change on a dime. The happiness that surrounds me one day may be crushed the very next day as life’s problems tumble down on top of me like a rock slide falling from the side of a mountain. Nothing in this life is certain except the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Life can attack us with the force and power of the mighty falls and we can fall into the swirling waters of pain, suffering, poverty, loss, estrangement, accusations, illness, and death at any given moment. Yes, life is fierce and I am fragile.

But oh the beauty of the falls! How majestic his creation! How mighty are his works! In contrast I know that no matter what comes my way, even if I find myself in the fiercest of life’s waters, God has promised to keep me safe. I really have no need to fear because God has given me an amazing promise. He has said, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:1b-2a NIV

Those words are such a comfort! First of all, God tells me not to fear because he knows what is ahead. The things that surprise me are never a surprise to God because he is all knowing. Secondly, he reminds me that he has redeemed me. Jesus Christ paid a hideous price on the cross for my redemption. Why would God go to all of the trouble to send his son, Jesus Christ to this world to redeem me and then let me perish? Thirdly, God said, “I have summoned you by name, you are mine." He didn’t say, “Hey you, come here!” He said, “Paula, come.” Why did he do this? He did this because I belong to him, he said, “you are mine.” Those of us who have children would give our lives for our children, and God did. All of that good stuff and still we haven’t even gotten to God’s promise! The fourth statement in today’s scripture, God said, “When you pass though the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass though the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” My first response to that promise was, “that’s good God, because as you already know, I can’t swim!” This precious promise is straight from the heart of God. No matter what may come my way God’s promise to me is sure. I will not remain there forever, I will merely pass through. I may remain in the situation for a season but eventually I will pass through even if it means going to my eternal home. It is a glorious hope to know that I will not remain in the drowning rivers of life forever. What a blessing to know this truth. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27a NIV. God will be with me today, tomorrow, in the good times, in the bad times, and throughout eternity. I know this because I know without a doubt that I belong to him.


Has there been a time when God has spoken to you through the beauty of his creation?

Do you still find strength in that message as you remember that experience?

How do you feel when you know that God has called you by name and will take care of you because you belong to him?

Do you have any doubt that you belong to God?

When exactly did God redeem you?

If you do not know for sure that you have been redeemed by God make sure that you take time today to read “How Do I Know If I Am a Christian?” This message is located on the right hand column of this blog. God wants you to have all that he has promised you. He wants to redeem you and be your Savior. Jesus can be your refuge in this life and your hope for the life to come.


Dear Jesus,

I want to be in a relationship with you that will last forever. No matter what happens to me in this life I know that you are the only one I can depend on. Jesus, I want to daily experience the peace that comes into my heart because I know that you are a safe place of refuge during the storms of my life. Thank you for the beauty of creation that lifts my spirit and brings me joy. I praise you for the beauty that is found in our world. God, thank you for Niagara Falls, how beautiful, how majestic, how powerful, and how amazing is this work of your hand! Jesus, so many times I see your creation as a perfect reflection of who you are. You too are beautiful, majestic, powerful, and amazing. Thank you for all of the lessons you teach me inside and outside of the garden.

In your name I pray. Amen.