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 43:2
Why are you afraid, you of little faith? Matthew 8:26
Most of us are concerned and worried about the world’s current climate. There are areas of drought, where farmers are having to plow under crops that have totally dried up. Some places are so hot that it is dangerous; temperature records were set in London and parts of Europe a couple weeks ago. It was 114 in parts of the Middle East yesterday. Then, there may be too much water – some places are flooded, homes washing away. We also have fires, from lightning, from careless people, and from housing defects like poor wiring.
It seems like being afraid is a perfectly normal feeling. Who doesn’t worry if they have to cross a river that is raging and above the flood level? Or be up on their roof awaiting rescue? Living in areas prone to wildfires is very scary. So what to do? Isaiah tells us what we have to help with our anxiety – we have the presence of the Lord. Our God is with us as we go through whatever calamity nature may throw at us. He is also with us for other problems from economic worries to family disputes and so much more.
The verse from Matthew comes from the story of Jesus asleep in the boat with the disciples worried about the storm that has arisen. They wake Jesus, and He immediately calms the storm. Then rebukes them asking where their faith was. There was no need to fear the storm.
As the Psalm writers said centuries before:
You stilled the roaring of the seas, the pounding of their waves, and the tumult of the nations. (Psalm 65:7) and He calmed the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29)
Our Lord who has power over the worst storms can certainly be with us through all the storms of our daily lives.
Help us Lord! You have promised, Lord, to be with us through flood, fire, and calamity. We regret losing faith and being afraid. Today, we pray not only for those in need, but also for those who protect and serve people in need. Show us how we can support the needy and help those who serve. Amen.