We all know the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were three Hebrew children who stood up for what they believed in and faced a fiery furnace as a result. I want you to read the following passage carefully:
And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, [and] spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, [and] spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come [hither]. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. Daniel 3:23-26
Did you see anywhere in that passage where the three Hebrew children saw God in the midst of their fiery trial? No? I didn't either. We know that Nebuchadnezzar could see God walking through the fire, but could Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They knew God was with them because they believed in His promise that He would never leave them nor forsake them, but did they actually see Him walking with them in the midst of their trial? We may never know the answer until we get to Heaven, but I think there's a powerful lesson here.
Have you ever been through a trial where you felt you were all alone and no one cared? Have you ever struggled to see God in the midst of your troubles? Have you ever questioned if God is really working on your behalf? Honestly, I have.
For me, the past few weeks have been filled with unanswered questions, doubts, worries, and fear. At times, I've even asked God why things in life had to be so difficult. I'm still waiting on that answer. But, by thinking on this story of the three Hebrew children, I realize they must have felt the same way I do now. They stood up for what was right. They did what they knew to be right, and the next thing they knew they were being thrown into a literal "hell on earth." Though their faith was strong, I'm sure at some point they wandered why life had to be so hard and why God wasn't there to help them.
Although I feel I face many of life's fiery trials alone, I can have faith that God is with me. I can know that even though I may not see Him walking with me through the fire, He's still there. That's what faith is all about--believing without seeing. The real blessing comes in knowing that others will be able to see His presence in the grace, strength, and peace He gives me through the difficult times. Nebuchadnezzar and his entire kingdom were changed because of what he saw that day. When we allow God to work through our lives (even the tough times), we can make a difference in the lives of those who witness His presence. Will you allow God to work through you today?
(Excerpt from Random Ramblings of a Raving Redhead, now available for $2.99 in all e-book formats.)
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