This too shall pass…but you must go through

[Isa 43:2 NLT] 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.

     A lot can be learned from thunderstorms. The one thing I am reminded of by thunderstorms, usually because I am driving in them, is two-fold.

     First, storms ALWAYS end. No matter how long they last, or how torrential and turbulent they may be, they always end. Whether they blow in another direction or the storm dissipates, the fact remains: The storm will pass. This principle also applies to the storms of life. For all intents and purposes, all the clichés point to truth. No trial is perpetual. But one must understand the underlying source of the shift in the length of your circumstances — ATTITUDE. How you respond to your circumstances directly affects how long you will be in those circumstances. If you choose a pity party and to complain about them, you will suffer much more and at your own hands. However, if you choose a humble and teachable posture in spite of your circumstances, you open yourself up to finding the purpose within the storm.  And this makes all the difference, which brings me to the second point.

       You cannot get around a storm; you must go through. Somehow, we have been allowed to believe that we can pray or bargain our way out of tough circumstances. It’s simply not so. The only way out is THROUGH. But you don’t have to go through alone. God’s promise of His presence is echoed over and over throughout Scripture. When He commissioned Joshua after the death of Moses. When He spoke to Gideon while he was hiding in a winepress. When Gabriel spoke to Mary before she gave birth to the Messiah. But I love the words He spoke to Israel in exile through the prophet Isaiah: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” Even when Jesus prepared to reunite with the Trinity, He promised the disciples that He would always be with them, “even unto the end of the age.” Trials and hard situations can often feel very lonely, especially when the tangibles don’t seem to understand or try to be sympathetic. It can be very easy to feel isolated and alone. But, because God’s Word does not return to Him useless and void, and because His promises have no expiration date, you can know and be confident that, no matter where you are or what you are going through, your Creator is walking with right beside you. Not only that, He is your cheerleader, your coach, your confidante, and will carry you when you get too weary to press forward. Part of getting through is remembering who is walking with you. Mark Batterson describes God as “He who dwelt in the burning bush.” If God chose to occupy a bush that burned without being consumed to speak to Moses, He will walk with you. If Jesus walked on water and beckoned Peter to join Him, He will keep you. If God could be ever-present with the Israelites in the wilderness in a cloud by day and a fireball by night, He will most assuredly keep His promise to never leave you or forsake you. You may have no choice but to walk through the storm, but you won’t have to go through alone.

Be encouraged, beloved.

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