When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. (Isa. 43:2)

David McKenna tells the story of a carload of Campus Crusade staffers who were swept away to their deaths in a flash flood of the Thompson River in Colorado. One of the staffers was Kathy Loomis, daughter of Charles Loomis, chairman of the board of Loomis Armored Cars in Seattle, Washington.

Two or three weeks after the tragedy, McKenna met Loomis in the lobby of a downtown hotel. The grieving man stared at McKenna with sad eyes ringed with dark circles. After McKenna expressed his grief and assured the hurting father of his prayers, Charles spoke words from a broken heart. He said, “Dave, the hurt goes deep, but God’s love goes deeper.”

In essence, that is what God was telling the people of Israel. He did not promise immunity from trouble. We all go through trials of various kinds. He mentioned waters, rivers, fire, and flames. But He also promised that He would be with them. Whatever their experience, however deep their adversity went, however dark their night, no matter the depth of their loss, His love would go deeper still.

I am amazed at the resilience of some people when they have to go through difficult times. I am confident their secret lies in part in the strength they derive from God’s presence. When He says, “I will be with you,” He means it.

You can face today confident that His love is deeper than your deepest adversity.

Ron McClung works at his denomination’s world headquarters and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons and nine grandchildren.