Isaiah 49:25 (New International Version)
25 But this is what the LORD says:
"Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
and your children I will save.
The sky is heavy and sullen on this hot morning.
As I glance out of my kitchen window a flock of birds swoops swift and low over the fields--their wings shining silver below the ominous, roiling grey of the clouds. Their flight is in unison, like arrows shot from the bows of hidden archers.
In the distance thunder rumbles--it sounds as if a storm is approaching.
I hear the door to the sun porch opening suddenly as if a friend is walking in unannounced--but no friend stands in the hallway. My "visitor "is the rising wind outside.
As I get ready for the day in the bathroom, applying makeup to my shiny face, my blouse is already sticking to my back. My hair clings limp to the back of my neck. I twist it up and secure it with a tortoise-shell barrette. Our air-conditioner isn't making enough of a difference today.
But when I emerge from the bathroom, to my surprise, the sky has brightened--the gathering storm has passed by, and even the stickiness of the air has changed to a more tolerable level.
I think of the problems that cross our path in life, threatening and oppressive as an approaching storm.
The enemy of God and his people is the master of menacing behaviour--he is described as "a roaring lion," (1Peter 5:8). The purpose of an animal's roar is to intimidate its prey or its enemy.
God's word for today reminds me that I need not be intimidated. He will either be in the storm with me, until it dissipates, as the storm this morning did--or he will take me through. How thankful I am for his Presence. I will have no fear either way.
Jeremiah 15:20 (New International Version)
20 I will make you a wall to this people,
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
to rescue and save you,"
declares the LORD.