It's a familiar story, found in Daniel 3. Prideful King Nebuchadnezzar builds a giant statue of himself, made of gold no less, and then commands his people to bow down and worship the statue every time they hear the music play. 3 Hebrew men, servants of the Most High God, refuse. This angers the king, and he brings them before him and commands them AGAIN to worship the statue. He reminds them of the punishment waiting for them if they refuse... a one-way ticket to the fiery furnace. And amazingly, this is their reply:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O 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 save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
Wow. WOW! Their faith was outstanding, of course. They followed God, even when confronted with almost certain death. But the part that hit me this week was when they said that God is able to save them from the fire... but even if he does not, they were not going to turn away from Him. Their faith in God was not dependent on whether or not God chose to save them from the fire. They knew He could do it. And that was enough for them.
I pray daily that God would show up in a mighty way in my current season of life, because I am in the fire. I know many of you are praying for us too. And I believe that He is able to do it. He can allow me to get pregnant. He can allow us to adopt. He is able to save me from infertility... but what if He doesn't? What happens to my faith then?
We all love to hear about the miraculous answers to prayer. It's easy to glorify Him when He sweeps in and saves the day, right in the nick of time. Those are the times when it's not a challenge to believe. But then there are the times in our lives when God seems to be absent. When we pray, but our loved one dies anyway. When we ask, but we appear to get no answer. When we feel forgotten, overlooked, or ignored.
Here in the blazing furnace, I want my faith to shine like gold refined. I want to rest in the knowledge that my God is able, and I want that to be enough for me. The prince of this fallen world can throw me into all kinds of fires, and I know that God can save me from them if He chooses to. But if He doesn't, then I pray that the fire may burn away more of the imperfections of my life, so that my faith may be stronger and purer and more beautiful because of it.
God doesn't waste anything. And if He's leaving me in the fire right now, then there is a reason for it. He can use even the fires in life for our good... and for His glory.