My son-in-law playfully warns his young boys, "there's danger, danger all around!" My grandchildren alertly respond to their dad and continue playing, but with a renewed awareness of dad's presence and protection. Dad provides security and carefully safe-guards his own with a gentle but strong arm. The boys are learning obedience out of great love and respect, and learning it impressively. It will serve them well all of their days.
Life is simple for them now, or so it seems from an adult perspective. At some point however, sooner and later, there will be storms, high waters, heated situations, fearful times, even seemingly overwhelming obstacles. The boys would argue that they are there now! But just wait, and they will only intensify.
Many years pass, each not without their necessary storms. Yet they have all been weathered, and somehow they passed. Walks through turbulance, trips across unknown territories, and trials by fire have come and gone. (A colleague of mine jokingly says, "there, there, that wasn't so good!") Hard as it gets, we survive.
True, but is there something or someone we have missed along the way? Someone we fail to respond to? A Dad who watches us very attentively, and who lovingly protects us? Someone whose voice we choose to ignore? Someone who could spare us enormous stress and anxiety? But for some unknown reason we would not see Him or be comforted by Him? Our loss.
"Thus saith the Lord that created thee, and formed thee, Fear not: for I have called thee by name: thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee. Fear not: for I am with thee. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters." This is from Isaiah chapter 43.
The waters and the fires are prescribed and to be expected, but not to be endured alone. Our Maker, Protector, and Guide calls to us, "danger, danger all around", but "fear not, I will be with thee."