The jet-wash won't harm me!
I’m sat in one of my favourite seats in McDonald’s (how sad is it that I even have such a thing!?) with a coffee, working on my sermon. The man outside has been jet washing the floor and has turned his attention to the window where I’m sat.
The force of the jet is considerable. I daresay it’d hurt if I was to be hit in the face by it. But I’m safe behind the thick, double-glazed glass. The activity is ‘out there’ and is real, but it can’t harm me. I’m safe.
Seeing the spray rebound off the glass and hearing the thunderous pounding of the water on the window, my mind was drawn to the words of Isaiah 43:2…
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Did you note what God communicated through the prophet? When you go through waters, rivers, fires… not if.
It’s not a popular message, but at some stage you are going to encounter floods, rivers and fire; in other words you’re going to go through the ringer. The squeeze – whether because of your love for God or simply owing to the fact that the world is broken – is going to come.
How pitiful our plight if that were the sum of the message.
But it isn’t!
Instead, God promised His people then, and promises His people now that even though the storms rage, the floods rise, the fire burns all around, they won’t ultimately harm them.
It’s not the promise of supernatural preservation from certain events. Cancer, redundancy, and family disappointment are the real experience of many believers right now. Instead, God’s promise is that those storms – real, painful and sorrowful as they are – cannot and will not ultimately consume those who are safe in the Ark; those who belong to Christ.
Friend, your pain is real. You may even be facing things which feel consuming, but they’re not ultimately terminal. They can’t pluck you from the eternal grasp of Him who holds and sustains you.
We are infinitely more safe in God’s hand than I am from this jet washer.
Rest, then, knowing that no power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck you from His hand.