Weekly Devotional 062424

Fires and Floods

by Jane Josephs

In this world you will have trouble…” –John 16:33b

I’ve had fires and floods on my mind lately. Perhaps it has to do with the number of articles I’ve seen recently on the dangers of wildfire smoke. Or it could be the forecast by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicting a range of 17-25 named storms between now and November 30 this year. But I think it’s something else, something that’s encouraged rather than frightened me.

The other day I pulled a book from my shelf that tells the story behind the writing of many of my favorite hymns, and my eye landed on “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.” I was immediately drawn to the scripture verse that inspired the lyrics, Isaiah 43:2:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.

I love how scripture uses the perils of our physical world to speak to our mental and emotional fears, and in doing so reassures us that God is in control. Yes, the floods will come, the fires will burn. But God is close; don’t be afraid.

For the friends and family members I’m praying for who have serious health concerns, these words from the prophet Isaiah bring a sobering reminder: when, not if. No one is exempt from the troubles of this world. But Jesus didn’t leave us flailing about in the fires and flood waters, did He? (Praise His Name!) No, He said, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Sing on, saints of God!

Dear Lord, even when we don’t see it or feel it, You’re working on our behalf, holding us up in the floodwaters of life, and guiding us out of the fires of adversity to safety. All praise and glory be Yours. Amen.

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