Ezekiel 47:2-6 NLT –”I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway. Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet[a] and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in but too deep to walk through. He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank.”
Isaiah 43:1-2 NLT – “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
As a child, I spent many summers on the lakes in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. I loved the water and would have spent every waking hour in a lake if my parent’s allowed me. After playing in the water for hours on end, I would be physically exhausted at the end of each day. My neuromuscular condition weakened my calf muscles at an early age, making it difficult to wade through the water to swimming depth.
Playing in the ankle-deep water of the shore was always a joy for me. I loved the cool water lapping against my bare feet. It was nice and safe; what few waves there were that close to shore were fun to dodge. If I felt unsafe, I only had to take a few steps back. But ‘deep called unto deep,’ (Ps 42:7) and the cool refreshing water beckoned me to go deeper still. Adventures awaited the overcomer!
As I waded further, I felt the resistance of the water against my calves, but as my goal was to swim, I wasn’t worried about falling. I knew if I waded past knee height, I’d be okay. However, when the water got to my waist, I had a decision to make. I could continue to wade or fall forward and swim—a much easier option. No resistance. I rarely swam so deep that my toes could not touch the lake’s bottom. If I was swimming in a river, I was even more cautious as I fought the river’s current, but on a hot summer’s day, I couldn’t resist the water’s call.
At the end of a day of fun and sun, I had no idea how much energy I had expended until I waded the last few yards back to shore. As the water pulled against my calves, I would realise just how exhausted I was. If I was lucky, an older sibling or my father would see me struggling and rescue me. If I weren’t so fortunate, I would plough through the water’s resistance and find my way to the shore.
There are decisions that we need to make when we walk with the Lord. Are we determined to go deeper still or do we give up at the first tug of resistance? Will we trust the river of life? Will we live our lives in the shallows?
Isaiah 43:1-2 is my life verse. As you read it, considering what I just shared, you’ll understand why it is so precious to me. Many times, I feel overwhelmed and way over my head. But God is always there to help me. I’ve shared this Bible verse with you many times, but bear with me.
Note that verse 2 doesn’t say, “When you set up camp in the middle of the river.” It doesn’t say, “You will dwell in the middle of the fire.” It doesn’t permit you to choose to stay in the middle of the raging river. No! Circle the word THROUGH in that verse. You may be going THROUGH a storm, but God promises you will get THROUGH to the other side.
If you feel that resistance pull tugging at your spiritual calves, go deeper! When He calls you to head ashore, follow His voice. No matter how exhausted you might feel, the Lord is your shepherd and will lead you through. Just keep moving.
©2022 Katherine Walden