Have you heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Most of us heard it as children in Sunday school. It’s the story of three men thrown into a fiery furnace for not bowing down to worship the gods of Nebuchadnezzar. There’s even a popular cartoon featuring talking vegetables about the story. Have you ever really thought about it though? Not the gory details of how hot and terrible it must have been, but instead the courage and faith it took for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to stand against the king and refuse to worship his gods. They didn’t just have faith that God would save them from the fiery furnace. They had faith in his goodness, even if He didn’t.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
They refused to bow down, even faced with the penalty of death by fire, because they knew that God could save them. They also knew that, while He could, He might not have done so. Some people see this and question His goodness. I strongly caution against those thoughts. Our God is merciful. He is all-knowing. He is all-powerful. He has given man free will. That is what causes turmoil in this world. Not our God.
Are you faced with something so overwhelming it seems impossible to bear today? Do you feel like your cries to the Lord are not being heard? This life is so full of hardships. Children stray. Cancer strikes. Jobs fail. Spouses leave. Loneliness engulfs. Loved ones die. Please take heart my beloved friend. God does hear your cries. He can answer your prayers exactly as you ask. But even if He doesn’t, He is still good. He is still your God. His ways are still best. Trust Him. Seek Him. Walk the path He has laid out before you. You may not see the end of your story, but He does.
If you read the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you will notice that the men that bound them and were taking them to the furnace were slain by the fire. Can you imagine? Imagine being lead into this fiery furnace and your captors succumbing to the heat. Would you change your mind? Scream out to the king to save you? He was the flesh standing before them, after all. It was certain that he could stop them from being thrown into the furnace. But they didn’t. They had faith, even then, in our God of mercy and goodness. Have faith, dear one. God will walk with you through the fires of life, even if He doesn’t pull you out of them.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.