God is Where?

 Near Walnut Grove, MO

Near Walnut Grove, MO

Here’s the point again: God takes care of what’s His!

But just because God takes care of His own does not mean it is always cool in the kitchen of life. It’s not. You know that. Life is a raucous rant against the domain of darkness. Sometimes you run fast and high. Sometimes you slog through a slew. But God was faithful. It took a while for me to see it, but God cares—all the time He cares—and He can no more be uncaring than He can stop loving.

I escaped from that church and returned to Fort Worth smelling like smoke. A few things, in fact, didn’t just smell like smoke. A few things got burned up. But, that’s the nature of things down here, isn’t it?

I didn’t recall it in the heat of the moment, but one of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43:1-5, “But now, thus says the Lord, / he who created you, O Jacob, / he who formed you, O Israel: / ‘Fear not, 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 will not overwhelm you; / when you walk through the fire you will not be burned, / and the flame shall not consume you. / For I am the Lord your God, / the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’”

Wow! What a passage. What a pledge. Isaiah goes on to state that God will take others in exchange in order to maintain His pledge of faithfulness to those who are His. Why? “Because you are precious in my eyes, / and honored, and I love you.” The section concludes with a simple, but powerful, “Fear not, for I am with you.”

There’s the promise: the relentless, determined, predictable character of God. “I am with you.” You are mine. I’m going to take care of you. I am with you.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that we are going to go through the rivers, floods and fires. I’ve said it before: Just because God is with you doesn’t mean He is going to deliver you out of these things. He may opt to care for you through these things. But!

But God takes care of what’s His! All the time. It’s who He is and He can no more be unfaithful to you than He can accommodate sin. It’s just not in Him to fail His folks.

I left my seminar at the church pretty confused. I had far more questions than I had answers. The pastor’s behavior left me vulnerable to all sorts of enemy angles of attack, and believe me when I say he exploited every opportunity to assail me.

It’s odd to say it, but the honest truth is: I had nothing else I could do but trust God (as if that is a last option). I toughed it out for almost a year to the day. All of a sudden, God began putting the missing pieces of the puzzle together. The dynamics of what actually happened are not important to our discussion now. Only this, that who God is every day did not change. He was exactly the same prior to the conference as He was during the conference and a year after the conference. He is faithful. It’s who He is.

The fire may get hot, the rivers may run deep, the flood might threaten to overwhelm you. But the truth of the matter is: God takes care of what’s His.