Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. f we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us. Or If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and 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.”
But with Daniel and his friends it wasn’t over. No, God had a last minute miracle up his sleeve. A true miracle. Jesus showed up in that fire and protected them. The ropes that bound them were destroyed but they escaped the furnace without a mark. Not a scorch, not an ash, and I’m guessing not a hair out of place and not a sweatstain either.
And I wonder what I would have done. I would have been terrified that I was going to die. And I’m not sure I’d have had the guts to be bold enough to speak the words that Daniel did to king Nebuchadnezzer. And I wonder if I would have been yelling and screaming all the way to the furnace–at least in my head. “Why God? Why? I stood up for you and defended you and now I’m gonna DIE! I don’t deserve to die! Where are you when I really need you?”
Please tell me I’m not alone.
Sometimes I think some of the folks back then had way more faith than we do today. I know they weren’t perfect, but Daniel and his friends, Abraham, David, Esther, Rahab, and so many others did what God asked without question, or so it seemed.
And this is where faith comes in. Faith and trust. Daniel and his friends trusted God whatever the outcome. That is how they were able to obey.
We live in a society that doesn’t trust much of anyone today. And yet God still calls us to trust him. He calls us to obey in faith.Trusting him whether the outcome is what we desire or not. Period. Even when we don’t know what the plan is, God does. His ways are better. His ways are more.
Daniel was delivered. But sometimes we obey and there is no deliverance. Sometimes we think we’ve taken every step just as God directs and the plan doesn’t go the way we thought it would. Sometimes the consequences relatively small, other times we get trampled, sometimes we lose loved ones, or are diagnosed with a nasty illness, or we watch while others suffer.
We deem it a failure.
But is it?
We forget that God is the author of success and failure, don’t we? He is the one that says whether it was a success or a failure. We do not. God is not contained by time as we are. We may have succeeded in his exact plan and failed from our perspective. And we may not know until eternity comes.
I’m learning that instead of fighting God. Instead of whining. Instead of asking why (although I admit I do, and probably always will at least sometimes). Instead of beating myself up, maybe I need new eyes. Maybe I need to step back and look from a different view. Maybe I need to trust his perfect plan.
linking up with Sunday Thoughts. This morning’s sermon was once again the inspiration for today’s post. I love that the messages we hear propel us to dig deeper in thought about what was preached.