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. For I am the LORD your God.
This time a year ago, everything in my life was perfectly stable, no different than how it had always been. It was all going as planned. I was conquering my first semester of college. I had a job nannying for two boys I loved. The plans I had for my future were still in order. Things with family and friends were as consistent as ever. I was helping lead the ministry I grew up in. Schedules. Safety. But little did I know, and as I was soon to find out, all of that was about to change. Love changes things, friends. And God’s plans for our lives shake us up. Security, consistency, steadiness, calm were all about to be challenged.
A year later, all the plans I made have been surrendered to the Lord and He has changed almost every one. I have fallen in love with the love of my entire life, in the most real sense of the phrase. We’re about to get married(!!!) The career path I was convinced of has changed completely. I have since moved across the country. I have stepped into a new community of believers- a community so different than the one I was in my whole life. I’m asked often how I’ve managed to transition so well, and the only answer I have is Jesus. He is with me no matter where I go, and He is the only constant I need. Passing through waters and rivers and fire and flame, I have learned more of who the Lord is than if you were to pull together all the lessons, trials, and knowledge of Him that you possibly could from my entire life before. This year, He came in close and met me where I was.
This is what I’ve learned of who He is, (and it is only the beginning): He cannot be boxed up, He is always doing something new, who He is never changes but He always gives us the unexpected, yet He can be trusted with our lives. He is as reliable as the rising and setting of the sun, but His dreams for us are wild. His plans for us are not safe, but He walks with us and keeps us in safety. He is our refuge. He is everything good, and there is no good apart from Him. He will not allow our dreams to stay boxed up, collecting dust in a corner. He uses us when we surrender to His will. Every single thing is done for the outcome of our good & His glory. He is home. He has made His home among us, inside of us. He is our father, our most constant friend. But He cannot be defined by human characteristics or definitions. Nothing and no one compares to Him. There are no synonyms for His character. He is in the gentle whisper in the dark when we’ve just about given up, telling us to push forward. He is in the most beautiful sunrise, reminding us of new horizons up ahead. He is the sure voice telling us to jump because He will be with us there. He is the peace in the midst of chaos. He is all that matters at the end of this day, at the end of this life. He is not on the sidelines. He is in total and complete control. He is sure. He is certain. He is never changing and never failing. He is ever faithful. He is all around us, closer than our very breath. He is with us in every situation. He is the reason for all of this. He is all that matters.
Every ounce of crazy and trial is worth learning more of Him. The Lord preserved me through all of it, the beauty and pain that the best of change brings, and He always will. He does not give us assurance of ease in this life, but of His presence. And you will find He is enough.
You see, when you are not fully found in the Lord, everything HAS to be stable. Because that is your hope and peace in life. When you know Him, he is your stability. He becomes your hope and peace, not your circumstances. Whatever may pass and whatever lies ahead, He will be there and He will surley be enough. We will walk through fires and come out unsinged, for He is the Lord our God who goes with us.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9