I sat down on the floor that night like a woman sitting down to mourn in a house in Cameroon where someone just passed away. In my case, no one was dead but I was grieving.
Uncontrollable steams of tears went down my face. I sat there shaking in anger and talking to God, pouring out all my emotions before Him. I asked Him why He would let me go through something so painful. I yelled at Him for allowing me to go through pain.
I was broken, so broken that I couldn’t see any glimmer of hope. All I thought of, dwelled on were negative thoughts. And the more I allowed negativity into my heart, the more I felt hopeless.
Later that night after having several battles with my mind, trying to focus on the positives and trying to sleep, I felt God was bringing a scripture to my mind. It is the scripture that says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2, NJKV)
What stuck out to me in this scripture is the use of ‘when’ not ‘if’. God doesn’t say, “if you walk through the fire”. He says ‘when you walk through the fire.” ‘If’ would mean I may or may not walk through the fire. ‘When’ means I will definitely walk through the fire.
As I meditated on this scripture I realized that times of walking through the fire are inevitable. I cannot evade it. You cannot evade it. There are hard seasons when we feel like the world is crashing on us and God has forgotten about us.
There are seasons of pain, brokenness, and struggles. But this is what God says: “When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” That flame is not meant to burn you. It is meant to purify you.
As someone who cooks a lot, I know the dangers and the strengths of fire. Fire can burn you but also, fire can make delicious food happen. It is because of the heat in my kitchen that I am able to cook, to grill, to fry, to saute and bake. Fire/heat makes tasty things happen.
So does the fire in your life, my friend.
You need that fire to build you into the person God wants you to be. The fire is not there to burn you but to prepare you. It is there to help you build character. It is there to build resilience. It is there to make your faith stronger.
And most importantly, note that God is right there with you. As you walk through the fire, as you go through difficulties and question why. As your heart aches in pain. As you cry so many tears that leave you with swollen eyes. As you struggle to find rest at night but sleep evades you, know that He is there, close enough. You will walk through this fire and come out better, strengthened than ever before.
As I realized this that night, I stopped being mad at God and felt peace instead. And I found myself being thankful for something I never thought I will be thankful for, which is trials. Yep, I am thankful for trying moments because they are building moments.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:2, NKJV