Happy New Year everyone!
Ok so I'm a little late... the following passage of scripture is something the Lord gave me years ago and when I say years I do mean years, as in 1988 at a Baptist Student Union Conference at Golden Gate Seminary in San Fransisco... I had no idea then the fires and waters I would walk through but it has been precious to me ever since! God repeatedly says do not fear, something I admittedly have struggled with. This portion was brought back to mind in a signifigant way two years ago (portion in green in particular) and this year at PWOCI (Protestant Women of the Chapel) conference in Dallas God once again brought it back to mind but especially verses 18-19 (highlighted below in blue). I am excited to see what God is doing this year -- in my health, with my husband/our marriage, with the kiddos,EVERYTHING! Excited but a little scared at the same time, it's been a heck of year! National Horse Competitions, new signifigant others in children's lives (more on that later when I have permission), Deployment (AGAIN), Girls in College, etc.....etc.... While I am still figuring out how to be a mom to adult children, and one soon to be, how to homschool only one, still struggling with consistency, lonliness and a quieter house, I am finding a renewed hope and sense of God's presence as well and a renewed sense of following where he leads even when it's scary,or not well lit!
Now this is what the LORD says the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, O Israel
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and [when you pass] through the rivers,they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.
For I the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior,
give Egypt as a ransom for you,Cush and Seba in your place.
Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and I love you,
I will give human beings in your place,and peoples in place of your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north: Give [them] up!and to the south: Do not hold [them] back!
Bring My sons from far away, and My daughters from the ends of the earth
everyone called by My name and created for My glory.
I have formed him; indeed, I have made him."
Bring out a people who are blind, yet have eyes, and are deaf, yet have ears.
All the nations are gathered together,and the peoples are assembled.
Who among them can declare this, and tell us the former things?
Let them present their witnesses to vindicate [themselves], so that people may hear and say, "It is true."
"You are My witnesses" the LORD's declaration
"and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me
and understand that I am He.
No god was formed before Me, and there will be none after Me.
I, I am the LORD,and there is no other Savior but Me.
I alone declared, saved, and proclaimed—and not some foreign god among you.
So you are My witnesses"—the LORD's declaration-"and I am God.
Also, from today on I am He [alone],and no one can take [anything] from My hand.
I act, and who can reverse it?"
This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:
Because of you, I will send to Babylon and bring all of them as fugitives,
even the Chaldeans in the ships in which they rejoice.
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.
This is what the LORD says—
who makes a way in the sea, and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)
"Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.
The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise
... Isa 43:1-20