But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. 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. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you." Isaiah 43:1-3
There are times when current news stories make verses of Scripture come alive.
That most certainly is true for Jose Salvado Alvarenga. He is a 36-year-old fisherman who hails from El Salvador. Working out of Mexico, Alvarenga went out for the day's catch in a 23-foot fiberglass boat. That was on December 21st, 2012. They had just begun working when a storm descended on him and his young friend, Ezequiel. Normally, being blown off course would be an inconvenience, but this time, the motor on their boat also died.
That was the beginning of Alvarenga's passing through the waters.
Although they were seen by other large ships, nobody bothered to stop and help the drifting duo. At the mercy of wind and currents they drifted: a week, a month, four months. That was when Ezequiel gave up and succumbed to starvation. The loss of his friend had Alvarenga contemplating suicide. That option was rejected because of his strong faith.
The drifting continued: six months, eight months, a year. Surviving on sea turtles, fish and sea birds, at the 14-month mark, Alvarenga touched land ... a small spot on the Marshall Islands. He says, "I held a handful of sand like it was a treasure."
His trip had taken him 6,700 lonely miles.
And what does Alvarenga say about his year of passing through the waters? He sums up those days this way: "You only get one chance to live, so appreciate it."
There is little doubt that each of the Daily Devotioners has had problems in his or her life. We have seen disappointments, endured losses, experienced hurts and, at times, may have felt we were adrift, without purpose or destination.
Such feelings can be devastating.
Thankfully, we have a Lord who understands. Our Savior was rejected, hated, threatened, lied about, beaten and murdered. This He endured so we would never be alone. So His family of faith might be assured He was with us always, Jesus suffered everything, without complaint.
Because of what Jesus has done, people of faith can believe the Lord when He says: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in the disappointments and discouragements of life may we turn to You and be confident that we are not adrift, and You are there to help. This I ask in the Name of my risen Savior. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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