Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I remember quite vividly the few times I have truly been afraid.
There was this time at church camp when at 10 years old I found myself unknowingly swimming under a large floating dock in the middle of the pond. I had been under too long and my lungs were screaming at me for air. I had absolutely no idea as to my location in relation to the edge of the dock - scary!
Another time at camp the director told all the boys that we were required to preach in chapel to all of the kids in camp. At the time I would have much rather been under that floating dock than have to stand in front of all 200 campers and preach. I survived and ended up being a preacher but that week was horrific as the thought of standing and speaking in front of 200 people weighed on me like a thick dark blanket. I didn’t enjoy much during that week.
Yet as scary as those situations were, the scariest was the time in 2011 when I came face to face with the fact that I should have died shortly after my 34th birthday. Blood clots had passed through my heart and were lodged in my lungs. The doctors had never seen anything like it except in autopsies. They said it was a miracle I survived. That was the first time that the question “What would happen to you if you died tonight?” really made sense. It was the first time I really had no one else to trust in but the Lord. Isaiah 41:10 was a verse I began to cling to more and more that Winter and ever since. It is a key verse I turn to when I am scared, unsure, weak, and disillusioned.
The prophet Isaiah was writing to a people who were on the verge of exile in Babylon. The people of Judah were going to be judged by God for their sin and their refusal to repent and turn to Him from the idolatrous ways they were living. They were scared that God would cast them off forever and that they would be without hope. This verse was God’s way of saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am right in the middle of all of this with you, I am your God, not like the other worthless idols of wood or stone.” “I will strengthen you”, He said. “I will uphold you with righteousness!”
No matter what we go through, young or old, God is with us in the middle of it. Whatever scary, unknown, surprising, and awful situation you are in right now God is there too. If you trust in Him He will strengthen you and help. In Jesus He has rescued you from the worst of fears – death. Trust Him to be with you and guide you and help you. He loves you and wants to make His name great in and through you and in every situation you face.