Isaiah 43:1-7

            There are times when our souls can become parched and dry, times when it seems no one quite understands, and as if circumstances might overwhelm the spirit.  The best remedy to such times is to fill oneself full of God, his grace and love.  Today’s Old Testament lesson is the perfect prescription for those passing through difficulty and/or wondering what lies ahead, fearful of the future.  As I do often, here is my translation and interpretation of this encouraging passage of Holy Scripture; may it fortify your soul today and lead you through the sticking points of life:
Now listen up to what the LORD says, the One who created you and formed you:
“Don’t be afraid, because I’m the God who has bought you from the auction block with the ultimate price;
            I have called you by name, and you are now mine.
When you are in water over your head, I want you to know that I will be with you;
            and when it seems like you are drowning, please understand that I’ve got you;
when you walk through fiery trials, I want you to know that you will not be burned,
            and the circumstance will not consume you and burn you out.
This will all be true because I am the LORD your God,
            the Holy One, your Savior.
I put everyone around you in their place,
            and there is no one who is in a position to buy you back from me.
Because you are infinitely precious in my eyes,
            and honored, and I love you,
there is nothing I would not give for you,
            nothing I would not do to keep you with me.
Don’t be afraid, because I am with you always;
            I will gather all my children from the east and from the west,
            so that you will never be alone on this earth.
In fact, I will command all the ends of this planet of yours
            to not withhold, to bring together every son and daughter from the farthest reaches,
everyone who is called by my name,
            whom I created for my glory,
            whom I formed and made.
You are all in this life together,
            and I, the LORD, am watching over each and every one of you. 


Bank on it.”

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