Rivers of Difficulty

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.” -Isaiah 43:2

We are still studying the book of Colossians, but I am sitting on the next Colossians post for some reason. Not sure if it is a timing thing, or if I simply cannot put into words what I want to say. I started diving into a verse and it took me so far down a side trail that I am not sure what I am to do with it yet.

No worries though as this morning I found sudden inspiration. Yes, I was inspired by something- don’t laugh at me- Cat. Yes, the darn Cat. I think God finds it quite funny when He sends me inspiration through Cat because I am a DOG person! A big dog person! Not a little meowing fur ball person. Yet I have no less than five Cat inspired messages in my journal at this moment. And a fresh one occurred just now. Stop laughing sister Sheryl…

I was sitting at my writing desk. I had my legs up on the desk while I was praying because my lower back is sore. Cat saw my lap as an invitation and jumped right up into it. She quickly assumed her “I am not leaving until you love me and pet me real good” position. I barely started petting her and her purr box (that’s what we call it) revved into overdrive. She was in heaven. She was sprawled over my lap hugging my leg with her little paws and had her happy and content face on. And yes- I do hate the fact that I know what her happy and content face looks like; along with all her other faces for that matter.

There we were perfectly content. I was praying and she was purring. She was as peaceful, content, and happy as could be. I needed to move my chair a little so I picked Cat up while I adjusted so she wouldn’t fall. Cat being Cat, she didn’t like that. Her purr box immediately turned off, she scrambled frantically out of my arms, jumped off my lap and ran out of the room.

She went from completely happy, content, and peaceful, to frantic, fearful and skittish. I laughed at her and said “Trust issues much?” (Yes- I am now confessing that I talk to Cat)

As soon as I said that to Cat, I was reminded of my self on Monday. Monday morning I had the most amazing Bible and prayer time with the Lord. I saw things in his Word I haven’t seen before. I have pages and pages of notes and questions and ideas I need to look into more as a result of this study time. I was so excited and encouraged as I headed out for my day. I felt like Cat. My purr box was in overdrive. I had perfect peace and a sense that it was going to be a great day.

Then I got to work. The very first e-mail I read put me on high alert. My purr box turned off. I felt frantic, panicked, and skittish as I tried to solve the issue I had just been made aware of. I may have recovered if that was the only situation that came my way Monday, but it wasn’t. It felt like one thing after another. I wanted out. I wanted to mic drop my job so bad and run back to my study room at home where life was peaceful and full of good promises.

I had to self talk myself through the entire day. I was not able to recover my sense of peace and comfort. In my mind that could not happen at work. It could only be recovered once I got home.

Somewhere along the line I had forgotten what it says in Isaiah 43:2 “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.”

God is with us wherever we go. He is with us in every situation. When I lifted Cat up to protect her from falling, she simply felt me squeezing her and taking her out of her place of rest. My intent was to put her right back in that place of peace after I made my adjustment. However, she was uncomfortable for that brief moment and squirmed away. She still hasn’t returned.

I was no different. When the squeeze was on at work, I forgot the One that lifts me up when the rivers of difficulty flow. He was with me all day but I was scrambling on my own trying to stay afloat. Oh how I still have so much more to learn when it comes to resting in God’s promises.

If you find yourself feeling skittish about the river you are in, I encourage you to go straight to the Lord for protection. He will keep you safe. He will either keep you afloat while the rivers rush by, or He will lift you out of them completely. Don’t be afraid of the squeeze. It is not meant to harm you. It is meant to protect you!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your fierce love. Thank you for protecting me from the rivers of difficulty I am in. Help me to maintain my peace even as the river rushes past me. Help me to rest in your arms while you carry me through. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Grace, and a River of Peace For Us All,



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