But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (NLT)
Amusement parks have all sorts of rides ranging from gentle to terrifying. A younger child may be curious about going on one of the more dangerous looking rides but would possibly be persuaded to do so if a parent or older sibling came along with them. The child may be very nervous, but the presence of someone they trust might convince them their fears are misplaced and all will be well.
It is a bit like that with life in general. We get confronted with all sorts of dangers and scary prospects. Of course there are the lovely soothing slow merry go round episodes where we can venture alone and enjoy the ride. But the twisters and plungers lurk nearby and for them we need some strength.
The Bible doesn’t promise an easy going ride. It rather promises some company along the way. The God who made us and who arranged for Jesus to bring us back to himself is our company. The God who longs for our welfare and shares our pain is our company.
And so we can get on the ride of our lives aware that we are not alone. The ride may be relaxing or rough, delightful or disappointing. But it will never be solitary. The rock bottom promise God makes to us is that he will not leave our side no matter what sort of ride we are on. We never travel solo.
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