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“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 flames will not burn you up.” Isaiah 43:2 CSB

You won’t drown, even though it feels like you will.  You won’t burn up either. This scripture is found in the book of Isaiah.  I love what my Bible says at the beginning of this book: “The theme of this book is expressed in the meaning of the name Isaiah, “the Lord saves” or “the Lord is Savior.”  Hallelujah! Jesus saves, you heard it hear first.

When I worked for Nautica, there was a time when I covered the children’s line of clothing.  I’m not a Mom, as you all know, but wow, children’s clothing is a lot of work. So tiny and hard to fold.  And there was so much of it. I was working in a store in Richmond. I will never forget the lesson I learned that day.  Our fixtures for children had a table and little bench below it where you could merchandise clothes. I was working hard, had the table and bench cleared off, the clothes separated and ready to go back on it when I noticed a lady sitting on the bench.  I will never forget her.

I was immediately irritated.  Can’t she see that I’m working?  Does she know how much I have yet to do?  Come on lady, move it! Of course I didn’t say any of those things.  I actually didn’t have a chance. Thanks be to God, she spoke first. She immediately apologized to me for sitting on my bench.  She explained she had lung cancer and couldn’t walk very far without having to sit and rest. That of course made me feel like a jerk.  Then she told me the rest of her story. She was single if I recall correctly, the only one in her family who didn’t have kids. She thanked God it was her that had lung cancer, she didn’t want any of her niece and nephews to lose their parents.  She was young, in her thirties. She was beautiful, blond and her skin had a pretty complexion to it. She had never smoked a day in her life. I never learned her name, never spoke to her again. But she sat on my bench and praised Jesus because she had lung cancer and not her siblings.

She taught me a lesson that day, more than one.  She taught me that Jesus is with you when you pass through the rivers.  He is with you when you pass through the fires. We never know what someone is passing through, but if they know Jesus, they aren’t doing it alone.  I don’t know if I would have had the same attitude this beautiful lady did, I hope it’s not something I have to find out. But to hear her praise Jesus in the midst of her fire to a complete stranger, that changed my life.  You won’t drown, and you won’t be burned up, Jesus will see you safely through to the other side.

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