If that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. I bet you don’t pay attention to tornado sirens or severe thunderstorm warnings either. You’re the type who lives life on the edge.
Well, today I was aptly warned against exploding fluorescent light bulbs by the guy on YouTube who was advising my grandma and myself on how to change said bulb. He told us that these light bulbs are volatile and that if they are not properly disposed of, they can violently explode.
I’ve never seen an exploding light bulb, but I appreciated the warning. (by the way, wrapping the bulbs in cloth before throwing them away is supposedly the antidote to a messy and dangerous explosion.)
It’s always nice to have an idea of what to expect when trouble could be a-brewing. I’m sure that most of us light bulb users would be absolutely shocked if our fluorescent light bulbs exploded while we were disposing of them. (now you have been fairly warned. You may properly thank me when you experience an exploding light bulb.)
Yes, warnings are nice. And I think I see one in Isaiah 43.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze.
Most of the other times I’ve read this passage, I’ve read it as a reassuring message. You’re going to be just fine. I will be with you. You’re not gonna drown.
But that little word, when, bothers me a bit. He doesn’t say, if. He’s not cautioning for a hypothetical situation or a possible but not necessarily imminent situation (like our light bulb friend was). He says that when you pass through the waters, when you pass through the rivers, when you walk through the fire.
I bet Israel had some mixed emotions about that message from Isaiah. They get to walk through danger and pain, but they will not be overcome, and God will be with them. God’s giving them fair warning with the assurance that He’ll stick around.
Kind of like when He says, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I can’t say that I like the implications of trouble, but I love the promise that God has overcome.
We can’t be certain that our light bulbs won’t explode or that we won’t have trouble, but we can be certain that God is with us.
Here’s to hoping that our light bulbs stay intact.