The poster accompanying this post illustrates just the first portion of Isaiah 43:2. The second half complements the first and should not be eliminated from it. The entire verse reads:
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 (NIV).
This is a verse for all seasons and for all people. When I was still a child and not yet a Christian, I summed up my entire philosophical musings with the phrase, “All things are equal.” By this I meant that the experiences of a bird are bird-size, yet they fill that bird’s universe. The experiences of a mighty world leader are mighty-world-leader-size, yet they fill that leader’s universe. While small creatures may have what we might call small problems, yet they completely fill that small creature’s entire world. Large people have large problems, yet those problems can do no more than fill that large person’s entire world. In this sense, “All things are equal,” because everyone experiences their own lives to the maximum amount their lives can hold.
The point is that we should not compare our situations with the situations of others in a judgmental fashion. It makes no difference if we are judging ourselves or judging others. God does not do that. He judges each person according to their own size. “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Palm 103:14, ESV). In other words, God does not judge us according to his own godly size; he judges us according to our own size. And we are creatures made of dust. In a parable Jesus told, a master speaks the same words to two people. One had invested and doubled five talents of money, and the other had invested and doubled two talents. Both received the identical commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master,” (Matthew 25). The master rewarded each according to their size. Yet for each, the reward was equally full, since no doubt it filled that person’s capacity.
Concerning difficulties, to a tiny ant, a trickle of rain water can present a formidable obstacle. To a long distance solo sailor, her obstacle might be a violent storm at sea. The ant should not think that her prayers and cries for help mean less to God than those of the brave sailor. And the brave sailor should not disdain the pleadings for mercy of the tiny ant. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” And in his very next breath, he told the crowd that we should all become like them (Luke 18:16-17).
No problem we will ever face is too big for God to handle, and no problem we will ever face is too small for God to care. God sees each of us for who we are. It does not matter to him if we are the Apostle Paul or if we are the poor widow who placed her last two cents into the synagogue offering. God loves all his children, and he will see us through it all.