Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Furnace

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."  Daniel 3:16-18

The steadfastness of trust and faith in the Lord.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were ordered to worship a gold image the king had created.  The three men were faithful followers and worshippers of God, and therefore refused to bow down to the created image.  These men knew the consequences of disobeying the king's order, yet their commitment to follow God was greater.

I recently read a post on related to this passage of Scripture and have not been able to stop thinking about it.  It seems that different questions or situations have crossed my mind in the past couple of days that have caused me to think through "the furnace".  No, there is no real furnace.  I've never been close to something like that amount of heat.. um, unless you count the time I was at a bonfire and the bottom of my shoes nearly melted.  Another story.  Another day.  But I was thinking about moments from my past and about prayers that I have been praying for years [and expectantly waiting the Lord's reply] and about things that are happening right now in my life and ultimately about how I would respond in those moments.  Though Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not falter in their decision to continue worshipping the Lord, there was a split second where they made to make that choice to continue to worship and trust Him.  We do not know what Cassie Bernall faced at Columbine, but she chose to profess her belief in the Lord.  On a grand scale this furnace is persecution.

On a smaller scale, this is day to day life and circumstances.  The post from referenced a young lady who lost her child.  For me, it is no secret the desire I have to be a wife and mama to some babies.  I mean when you are asked at a job interview, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" One probably shouldn't respond with "Being a stay at home wife and mom."  But I did, and I got the job.  This, however, is not promised.  God does not promise anywhere in His Word that every woman will be married one day.  When I read the post and scripture passage, it had me thinking far beyond persecution of believers to the fact that .. If I never become a wife or mother, will I still praise God?  Will I still choose to follow Him and worship Him and believe Him and tell others about Him?  -or- Will I choose to bow down to discontentment and my own desires?  The furnace is definitely different for each person and the different seasons of life they are in.  Ultimately, everyone comes to a moment.. a split second even.. where they have to enter the furnace/difficult circumstance and choose whether they will cling to the Lord and His strength or go their own way.

I am thankful that I can look on the past and see God's faithfulness in pulling me closer to Him.  He has enabled me to rest in Him and trust in Him.  I excitedly look forward to the future and the moments where I will have to choose... And choose to follow Him.

MLK Memorial in DC.  Appropriate.

PS- There is no challenge or controversy in my life. haha I have
quite the little charmed life.

PSS- Here's a link to that referenced post:

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