When You’re Facing Life’s Fires

photo by Clearly Ambiguous

photo by Clearly Ambiguous

 

September is here and the back porch is calling my name. I love to sit on it and watch the sky turn from dusk to deep evening blue. My husband and I light our firepit and watch the flames kiss the last bits of summer good-bye.

In other words, I like fire at a distance.

But I’m not a fan of the idea of being thrown into the middle of it.

Yet that’s what happened in one of the most well-known stories in Scripture. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego {confession: I totally had to copy/paste their names — absolutely no chance I would have spelled those right} are Jewish captives in Babylon. The original narcissist, King Nebuchadnezzar {copy/paste on that one too} has declared that everyone must bow down and worship a gold statue of him.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego say, “No way” and sure enough they’re tied up and tossed in a fiery furnace. When Nebuchadnezzar takes a look he’s amazed, ““Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Here’s what hit me like never before: Sometimes the fires of life are what God uses to burn off the ropes that bind us. 

Yes, that requires getting a lot closer to the heat than we would like. But Jesus is there with us and he can get us through.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire but they walked out on their own. They had not only gained their freedom but had given an entire nation new freedom as well:

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. {Daniel 3:28-30}

I recently read a modern day story that echoes this ancient one. Captive in Iran shares the story of two women held prisoner for their faith in one of the most brutal places in the world. Marziyeh talks about how friends and family often asked her if she feared what could happen to her:

“My answer was always the same. ‘God is my Father, and He would never let these horrible things happen to me. If He did, it would be to fulfill His will in a way I could not understand. It is a mystery, but I will always trust the Lord.'”

Different kind of “furnace” but the same kind of faith–and the same God who continues to deliver His people in miraculous ways. The fire you’re in may be the way God brings you into new freedom. He’s with you, for you and He will walk with you out of the “flames”–not as a captive but as one who’s walking with your head held high in victory.

XOXO

Holley

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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