(The LORD says), "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ..." Isaiah 43:2-3a
There was nothing the physicians could do. Reginald was dying.
As the grim reaper approached, he turned to his wife and gasped, "You know, Ludmilla, you have always been with me. Do you remember the time I was unexpectedly fired from my job? You were there when we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Do you recall when I fell off the roof? You were right there to call the ambulance, and you stayed with me during the long period of healing for my broken hip. As I lay dying, I am not surprised to find that once again you are here. Dear wife, as I prepare to cast off this earthly shell, it occurs to me, Ludmilla, you're bad luck."
Now, I'm certainly not saying anyone should put any stock in bad luck. Still, most of us have known those folks who, in comparison, make Job seem like a lottery winner.
If there is a nail on the road, their tire will find it. If there is a table in the darkness, their toe will get stubbed on it. If there is a bug going around, they will be among the first to catch it. If the IRS is randomly auditing tax returns, theirs will be at the top of the list -- four years in a row.
Yes, we all know such individuals. The truth is at one time or another most of us have felt we were such an individual.
You remember such a time, don't you? Those were the days when anything which could go wrong did -- and did so with a vengeance. Every day seemed to bring some new disaster; every mail delivery carried an unexpected bill; every phone call seemed to bear dark and depressing news.
If you have not experienced such a time, please believe me when I say this world has enough evil for everyone. Your day is probably coming. This is why the text from Isaiah is of such great importance.
In a few short lines the Lord assures us He is by our side. Are the flood waters rolling around you? Are the fires burning out of control? You can be comforted by the knowledge you are not alone. God is with you. Name your problem, pain or hurt, God is by your side.
More than just being there, the Lord has promised that the crosses of life shall not crush you. He, who sent His Son into the world to save your soul, has a vested interest in taking care of your present life, too. Yes, because of sin we can all expect the nasty and the negative. But because Jesus is with us, we also can expect that He will bring us through successfully.
It is just one more reason the redeemed have to give thanks to the caring Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I rejoice that You have not only saved my soul, You have also promised to be with me when this sad and sorrowful world tries to crush me. Especially at such moments, may I rely on You for help and successful deliverance. This I pray in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries