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 (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I hung on to a vine to climb over one more boulder. My heart was beating hard, and I struggled to catch my breath.
“Are you okay?” my friend asked.
Well, yes and no.
I was visiting my friend, who lived a few states away from me. When we started the hike, I expected it to be challenging but this wasn’t my first tough trail to navigate. What I hadn’t anticipated was the much higher elevation. I rested for a few moments and my heartbeat settled down. After a few moments I started again.
Though the trail was beautiful, it didn’t get any easier. Regardless, I was happy to be still moving forward.
Sometimes our faith can feel the same way. We take a leap of faith, or we go a little deeper in our relationship with Jesus. Somewhere along the way it gets difficult. We may wonder if we’ve done something wrong. We might even compare ourselves to others. We might feel like giving up.
What can you do when your faith walk is harder than you thought it would be?
The first is to celebrate how far you’ve come.
Take a look back. Where did this journey begin? How much have you grown? What has God already done inside of you?
Second, ask for wisdom.
You don’t have to figure out the entire journey. God knows the end destination. Ask Him for the next step, and the one after that.
Third, take note of what you need.
On the mountain my body was signaling that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I needed a break. I needed a deep breath.
Factor in what you need at this point in your faith journey. Is it rest? Is it emotional or spiritual support or encouragement? After you assess your need, take time to fill up.
Lastly, don’t forget the God factor.
In Isaiah 43:2, the prophet reminded a struggling people that God would be with them in the hard places.
“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” Isaiah 43:2 (NIV).
What a powerful promise!
This promise wasn’t just for them. It’s for me and you, too.
When I finally finished that hard hike, I lay in the grass and threw my arms up in exhaustion and joy. It was challenging, but I had experienced sights that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
If God asked you to go deeper and it’s harder than you thought, you are not alone. The fact that you are still moving forward is worth celebrating. And as you trust God step by step, that hard place can become, with His help, a beautiful part of the adventure.
Dear Lord, I will not compare my walk with anyone else but keep my eyes on You. Thank You for taking me deeper. Thank You for walking with me every step of the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What do you feel in those harder places in your faith walk?
Those feelings matter to God. Take a moment and talk to Him about them. Ask Him to help you get to the root of them.
What is one way you can fill back up spiritually, physically, or emotionally?