“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. …We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”Psalm 66:10, 12
After repeatedly turning away from the Lord, many Israelites were taken captive from their homeland to Babylon. But even in their rebellion, God encouraged His people and gave them hope. Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles provided instructions on how to conduct themselves while prisoners in a strange land. They were to “settle down,” “build,” “plant,” “increase,” and “seek the peace and prosperity” of their temporary home so that “you too will prosper” (see Jeremiah 29:4-7).
My husband and I have been married nearly 45 years. We’ve experienced great joys and great sorrows. At one particular time, we faced several consecutive painful years of losses in health, finances, and loved ones. Grieving, we did not put on our work gloves right away to start breaking ground in this sad place in which we found ourselves living.
Eventually, we started planting and building again by faith, using the resources we had. As with many hard times, we often can see later that the difficult season also included God’s tender blessings.
You will pass through waters; you will walk through life’s fires. But God promises He will be with you (see Isaiah 43:2). His peace goes with you.