the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and [when you pass] through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you'" (Isaiah 43: 1-2, HCSB).
There was a song on the radio when I was growing up called “From a Distance.” Sung by several artists, including Bette Midler, the song describes how different the world looks from up above. “God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance” the artist sings. The song was a huge hit back in the 90s. As a little girl I even found myself singing along to the catchy tune. As an adult, the lyrics actually bother me a bit. They paint God as being distant and uninterested. The words of Isaiah 43 tell a different story. These words speak of an involved God who cares about our daily struggles. Verse 2 states that He will be with us when we walk through fire. He will be with us on the hardest of days when we are up against the largest of obstacles. He does not just sit back and watch life happen. No, He calls each of us by name. We matter to Him. He cares what happens with us. And He’s ready to help us through the hardest of times. Aren’t you glad that He’s not a God who simply watches us from a distance?