But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, 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, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.
Life is overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like waters are raging around you and just keeping your head above water is a challenge. Bills that you didn’t expect, debts that you wish would go away, deadlines at work, caring for ailing family, stresses with friends, the dog is limping, and the freak snowstorm cancelled all flights. It is in times like these, that we all utter exasperated questions of “Dear God,…” We just need to remember that God is not assaulting us, but is always there to guide us through. God also wants us to breathe and remember that God is God. We don’t have to have control of everything. We should work hard and do our best. We should use our brains and try to solve our problems. We should also consider that God is with us. Sometimes, also, the waters are not really flooding and things are not quite as bad as they seem at the moment. Even when they are, let us be level-headed like Paul and consider who God is calling into the situation to best use their gifts. We are not alone. No, we are never alone.