You know them: mayhem moments: The kids are fighting, dinner is burning, deadlines are pressuring and chaos is reigning. Maybe your mayhem is the trials surrounding you on every side—conflict, health issues or financial pressures. I've got good news for you. In those mayhem moments, God offers three promises.
God reassures us through the prophet Isaiah: "Do not fear, 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. 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" (Isa. 43:1-2, NIV).
The Hebrew word for "waters" that's used here is the word mayim (almost sounds like mayhem); it's used as a metaphor for raging heavens, chaotic stormy seas and vast nations. But it also speaks of life, sustenance, fertility and blessing (Strong's #4325). That's so intriguing. How can moments of mayhem become a blessing in our lives? They become a blessing as we cling to the promises of God. In the process of clinging to and claiming those promises, we are strengthened in our faith and sustained in our resolve to follow Christ. Tucked within Isaiah 43 are three promises:
God's presence will be with you (Isa. 43:2). God Himself has summoned you by name, He calls you "precious and honored," and He loves you (43:4). I think often the temptation when walking through difficult circumstances is to doubt and wonder if God has rejected us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Jesus Himself told us that in this world, in our lifetime, we would have trouble (John 16:33). The glorious truth is that though there is trouble, the Holy Spirit of the Living Christ is with us. It reminds me of when my kids were little. When they had nightmares, it didn't matter if I tried to convince them that there were no monsters in the closet. What brought them comfort was my presence with them. As long as I stayed in the room with them or lay on the bed with them, they didn't feel afraid. It's the same for you and me; we need the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 14:16). Next time you have a mayhem moment, thank God by faith that He is in it with you!
God will make a way through the raging waters (Isa. 43:16). Often when I'm facing a tremendous problem or difficulty, I will praise God that He has promised to make a way through the raging waters. I might not have a clue as to what that way exactly is, but I remind myself that He sees the way through, and He will show me. I will often pray, "Lord, part the waters as you have promised." When you look back later and remember how God parted the waters, your faith is strengthened and your resolve is sustained.
God will provide refreshment even in the mayhem moments (Isa. 43:20). God said, "I will provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isa. 43:20). Another metaphor for the mayhem moments is the desert. In the desert, the sun is hot and the water supply limited. When you're walking through cancer, or conflict with a loved one, or challenges at work, it can feel like a desert. But God promises streams of refreshment as you lean into Him. How might you find that refreshment? Attend a worship service at your church—as you worship, you are refreshed. Listen to an inspiring podcast—often God uses the words of others to encourage and lift us up. Go to coffee with a close friend—our friendships can refresh us and sustain us as we journey through life.
Friend, when you're having your mayhem moments, remind yourself that God is with you; He has promised to part the waters and to refresh you. Look for the blessing in those moments. Tune your ear to Him and watch and see what He will do. And if you're having some mayhem moments now, I'd love to pray for you. So write me and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband,Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
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