The verse of the day is Isaiah 43:1b. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
Last week Dad and I went on a date. He had been given tickets to a Reds ballgame and asked me to go. Though I am not a diehard baseball fan, I accepted his invitation with pleasure. I borrowed Emily’s Reds tee shirt and we jumped in the car to set off for Cincinnati and our great adventure.
After parking on the 8th floor of a local parking garage, we descended to the street and moved towards the Great American Ball Park. About halfway there it started to rain and, since we were not prepared with an umbrella or poncho, we started running from tree to tree trying to stay somewhat dry. When the downpour increased we finally parked ourselves under a leafy sapling to wait out the weather.
I briefly wondered about the adventure we had set out on. It was not turning out as we expected. I pictured two bedraggled fans braving the weather, sharing a seven dollar hotdog, and a five dollar bottle of water. As I snuggled closer to Dad to protect myself from the cloudburst, I noticed a homeless man laying on a bench shielding himself with a flimsy umbrella. That’s when it hit me. It is not about whether things turn out the way you planned, it is about who you are with.
There is no way to control the circumstances of life. No matter how hard one tries, there will always be times when the sun stops shining and the rain begins to fall. Sometimes you will need to pass through waters, other times through raging rivers, and still others through burning fires. Trials come, disappointment strikes, relationships crumble, sickness weakens, and sometimes even death separates. But our joy is not in the inevitable circumstances; it is in who we are with.
God tells those who belong to Him that they do not need to fear the circumstances of life for He has redeemed us. He has called us by name and we are His. He promises that when we wade through the waters He will be with us. When we pass through the turbulent rivers they will not drown us. When we walk through flaming fires we will not be fatally scorched or burned. Why? Because He is the Lord our God, our Savior and we belong to Him.
We finally made it to the ballpark. We were a little wet and winded from our run through the storm, but guess what? There was a surprise waiting for us. We didn’t have to share a seven dollar hotdog and five dollar bottle of water. The gifted tickets included a smorgasbord of food better than I imagined and our seats were under the cover of an awning. So even though the game was delayed, we had plenty to do and plenty to eat.
Our great baseball adventure didn’t turn out the way I imagined it would. So, too, life will never be all you plan it to be. That is out of your control. But when the sun goes behind a cloud and the rain starts to fall, just snuggle up a little closer to the great God of heaven. Experience the great adventure of life with the One who says, “You are Mine!” - because the joy is all about who you are with. — Love Mama