“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”
In most seaports there are special pilots that join with an incoming ship to guide it into port. These harbor pilots know the unseen obstacles under the water, as well as the currents and other details of the local port. The ship’s crew needs the harbor pilot with them on board so that they can respond immediately if there is danger ahead.
In Isaiah 43 we find a similar description from God. The Lord guides us through the overwhelming waters of life. The way ahead is unexplored and dangerous to us, but God comes alongside to reassure us. He is not impersonal, like the waters—or even like a pilot who guides a ship because it is his job. God calls us by name, and he assures us, “You are mine.” The Lord shows us tender compassion, spending time with us in the midst of our struggles. God not only knows the way; he also knows us as we travel it.
Jesus is with us always (Matthew 28:20). He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). It is a profound truth of the Christian faith that we are not alone but that our Lord and Savior continues to lead and guide us. If you feel like you are in the deep waters of life, know that Jesus is with you and let him be your hope.
Lord God and Father of all, thank you for guiding us in this life. We are in your hands; we are your people. We marvel at the truth that Jesus gave himself to die and rise again for us. Amen.