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. Isaiah 43:2 NIV
“On the count of three, we run and we do not stop until we finish.” In a bout of either bravery or stupidity (I still haven’t quite figured out which), I agreed to run a 5K obstacle course with two friends. We each named our own personal challenges before the race – I needed to stop living in fear, trust that I am stronger than I think I am, and try everything. Here we were at the Pyromaniac. Oh yes, real flames burning on the ground that people actually like to jump through. One of my biggest fears was before me and I had out loud committed to try everything. Ev-er-y-thing.
My friend looked at me, we caught our breath, and counted down together. At one, we were off and running through those flames, leaping over each line to the very end where we finished together and immediately embraced each other. We did it.
Let’s just get real and honest for a second: life can be hard. No matter the stage of life, there are obstacles and challenges we face begging, “Lord, please don’t make me do it!” You may not be standing before a literal field of flames, but you are likely standing in front of your own terrifying obstacle. I am so grateful for those moments running through flames with my friend that were captured on camera for me to always remember the depiction of God’s commitment to us. She could not promise I would not get hurt, just that she would do it with me. But God promises to be with us and that we will not be overtaken or burned.
We have two options when we face obstacles in life: we can either freeze and stay where we are, or we can work our way through them. There is a crucial time, I think, to stop and assess. How high are the flames? How far apart are they? When do I need to jump? Who has gone before me? That last assessment was most important as I looked out over the flames – others had gone before me; this obstacle was not impossible. Who has gotten through a similar obstacle that you are now facing? Lock arms with those sister friends who will remind you that God is holding you, count down with you, run with all their might beside you, and embrace you at the end.
There is a time to assess, and there is a time to tackle that obstacle before you. You may be scared, you may feel the heat, but God will not let you drown or be scorched. You will finish stronger, braver, and bolder. Embrace that inner warrior and leap over that obstacle in front of you. You are stronger and braver than you give yourself credit for. Your God and Creator is by your side no matter what you are going through. Cling to Him as you pass through the waters and walk through the fire set before you.
Lord, Thank You that You are with me no matter the obstacle I am facing. Thank You for being my Savior and Protector. Father, as I face the challenges in front of me, I am frightened. Would You grant me Your peace, protection, and bravery to overcome them? Give me wisdom and strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.