“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” – Isaiah 43:1-3
God never says “if” you go through difficult times I will be with you. He says “when” you go through difficult times, I will be with you. When we pass through waters, pass through rivers, and walk through fire, God promises He will be with us. He also promises we will not drown or be burned. In other words, God will protect us when we go through trials and tragedy.
When I designed Four Winds I started by drawing the swirls of wind. I knew the wind was significant and later realized that they were the four winds from heaven, or the Holy Spirit. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet Ezekiel prophesied that breath would come from the four winds and breathe life into the bones in the valley. Once I read Isaiah 43, I also understood what was meant by the water and fire I had drawn. The waters, the rivers, and the fire represent the struggle and opposition we have in life. We will always go through pain and trials, but the promise of Jesus remains the same for all who call upon his name: “I am with you always…” (Mathew 28:20).
When you pass through the waters:
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left” (Exodus 14:21-22).
When you pass through the rivers:
“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from up steam stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap…The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground” (Joshua 3:15-17).
When you walk through the fire:
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisors, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and their was no smell of fire on them” (Daniel 3:24-27).
The prophetic promise for Israel that God will be with them and protect them is a promise for all who call upon the name of the Lord, because through the blood of Jesus we are redeemed and made one with the Father. Hallelujah!
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you…” – Isaiah 43:5
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” – Psalm 91:14-15