Isaiah 41:9-10 (The Message) ~
"I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."
I grew up in a single parent home from a tiny rural community in the middle of the Catskill Mountains in New York. Dan was from from a middle class family in a suburb of Erie, Pennsylvania. Yet, we both ended up in a seminary not far from New York City at the same time. God called us not only into ministry, but into a relationship with each other.
As I read these verses, the thing that strikes me is God's calling and support. God is not walking in front of us, pulling us, nor is He is walking behind us, pushing us. He is walking at our side. He is with us, alongside us as we go through these things. He has a firm grip on us.
I forget that sometimes and I'm sure you forget it also. It's so easy to feel alone and fearful in the middle of a trial or even just every day life. But God tells us not to panic. Don't be fearful. He will give you strength and He has a grip on you. Isn't that so encouraging?
The Lord of the universe is watching out for us. When you are feeling alone, He is there. When you feel despair, He offers hope. When you want to give up, He picks you up and carries you. When things look bleak, He provides light. When you wander aimless, He shows the path. When you feel sad, He loves on you.
The Lord over all things is beside me, encouraging me along. He is with me in the midst of my life. That indeed is wonderful news all of us today