When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:2–3a (NLT)

Not again.

I do not know how much more of this I can take.

I do not know what to do.

These thoughts and others raced through my head as I lay there once again faced with changing circumstances. I thought things were progressing relatively okay, then wham another issue to deal with.

You would think after 20 years of living with a disability (quadriplegic), I would be used to all the changes, challenges, and obstacles. But, all the physical challenges coupled with having to arrange care, in addition to having to deal with issues such as financial struggles, loss of loved ones, and relational conflicts has often been overwhelming.

Let’s face it, life is not always easy, whether you have a disability or not. Difficult things happen. You have to deal with tough circumstances that can leave you feeling scared, alone, and without hope. You cannot see your way through and you feel overcome by what is happening. Worry and fear set in, and you desperately seek a way out.

I felt this way once again that day lying in my bed, facing yet another difficult situation.

Yet, one thing was different this time. God had been showing me that by continuously sinking into that worry and fear, giving in to despair, and frantically searching for a way I could change my circumstances, I sinned. I had not been living in full trust of him, trusting him to see me through all my difficulties.

So, that day I quickly stopped my racing thoughts of despair and turned my thoughts to God. When I did, today’s key verse, which I had studied a few weeks before, immediately came to mind.

In this passage, God speaks to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah. He lets them know their journey back to the promise land after captivity would not be easy. He told them they would go through difficult situations.  But, he promised to be with them until the end. He promised he would not let them be destroyed.

God speaks the same thing to each of us today.

In life, many times will come when the figurative rivers of difficulty and fire of oppression surround you and threaten to consume you. God does not say “if” they come, but “when” they come. Blessedly, he promises that he will be there to guide you through the flood waters and fires of life. If you trust in him, reach out for his guiding hand, he will lead you to the other side, safe and secure. You will have to go through them, but you will not be overcome by them.