Troubling Waters, Healing Waters

There are some things in life that are both terrifying and utterly appealing, as in dangerous and essential for life. Can you think of any such things? For me, one that immediately comes to mind is fire. Fire provides heat and warmth. Fire helps us cook. It lights the way when the power goes out. Fire is helpful. And also, fire can be dangerous. We've seen it recently ravage homes in Colorado and beyond.

In my own life, I remember leaving our childhood townhouse one night because one of the neighbors was smoking in bed and accidentally started a small fire. I can remember a time when I was playing with fire (children, don't do this!), and burned myself. Fire can be dangerous and devastating.

Yet, life has also been preserved and enhanced through fire. There are so many things in life: elements (fire and others), situations, and even people with whom we live in the in-betweenness that they have the power to both light up our world or burn it down . . . or maybe both at the same time. In so many ways, we find the Israelites and others in scripture journeying right here in this liminal space. How often do you find yourself here?

This week as we read the words of Isaiah 43:1-7, we receive promise and healing words from God for the Israelites journeying through the waters. In their journey and in our faith journey, water plays a crucial role, and yet water, like fire, has both the power to offer life and the power to take it away.

Where is God in these moments? How do we live our lives not completely consumed by fear and yet with enough awareness to keep ourselves safe? Take some time this week to think about those things in your life that nurture and nourish you, yet you also fear have the power to consume you. How do you live in the in-between? In what ways might the Spirit be leading you in the midst of it?

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