"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah 43 1b-2
When I read this passage I can't help but think of the time I was involved in a car accident. For many reasons I know that God was with me that day and that God's presence saved me and a friend. You see, I should have had someone in my car that day but about 5 minutes before I left to pick her up I got a phone call that said she was getting another ride that day. The passengers side of my car was almost gone after my accident and if someone was there they would have been severely injured if not killed. And so I felt God's grace when the car stopped and I realized that God's hand was in the events that morning...but that wasn't the moment I felt one with the Spirit.
This past Sunday, I preached on the concept of being One with the Spirit and it is within that oneness that our Epiphanies happen. I suggested that God, the Spirit and Christ with together in the moment of Jesus' baptism and it is in similar moments in our own lives that we know that God is working within and through us. I have asked you to think about this passage from Isaiah and how God works in our lives.
Well I can't think of a more overwhelming experience then when a mechanical failure led me to lose control of my car and as my car was spinning out of control towards the tree that would eventually stop it, I turned to God. It was in that moment that a surprising calm descended upon me and I knew that everything was going to be OK. That I was OK, and I felt God's presence engulf me in that moment.
No matter what is overwhelming us or how deep the water feels, if we turn to God and allow the calming presence of the Divine, our perspective and our situation changes. I wasn't sure what was going to happen to me that day, but I knew whatever was to be would be and I knew I wasn't alone.
Let us rejoice in knowing that God's presence is everlasting.