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Isaiah 43:1-3 (and 4a) has become 'home' to me recently.  It is easy to become overwhelmed when life is out of our control.   We begin to feel like those waves crashing over us will swallow us up.  We feel frightened at the heat of the fire all around us, licking at our feet.  

'But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,

As the dear friend who pointed this passage out to me noted, "It does not say 'if', but 'when'"  In other words, why are we surprised when trials come our way?  When the way is not smooth and easy?  God has promised, not to keep the hard times from us, but to see us through them!  Unscathed.  And with personal attention.  I so love reading those words, "I have called you by your name, You are mine!" and, "Since you were precious in My sight. . . "  

We all need to feel loved and cared for.  We need to belong to someone.  It is too easy to give in to the lies that we are uncared for, unloved and unwanted.  He has called me precious!  He keeps His eye on me, because he said so!  According to the Psychology books I read in college, we have basic needs for food and water, but even deeper, we need to feel loved and to belong.  Those needs are stronger than our hunger and thirst even.  They can cause us to do some strange things if not satisfied.  If we surrender to the thought that no one cares for us or that we don't belong anywhere, we may even give up on life.  

But what sweet words to hear that the very Creator of the universe looks down on us with such loving, caring eyes.  He has not forgotten us, nor has He abandoned us.  So when we are crying out to God for relief when the waves or the fire get too near us, remember these words! Hug them close to your heart, whisper them in the dark of the night.  Shout them when you feel like you are  drowning.  Lift your head and repeat them over and over: 

"Fear not. . . "  for

"I will be with you."

"I am the Lord, your God."

"You are mine."

When all comforts of this world flee and you are not sure where to turn, look up, let God comfort and secure your soul.  He cares and wants us.  He made us!  We belong.


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