Maybe I should have been a doctor! Five of our six children have made their way to the emergency room or doctor’s office for stitches. Most have gone bravely, but two—David and Zachary—were very reluctant patients. I had to hold David’s head while the plastic surgeon worked his wonders. When Zachary’s knock on the noggin required a needle and thread, I provided the comfort for my restless toddler. Sitting with my kids in the midst of hard times has given me a fresh perspective. When they were hurt, I was there. In a sense I endured it with them. I believe God works that way. When three of God’s kids were sentenced to the fiery furnace, He was there. Take a fresh look at a familiar story:
Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully clothed. And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames leaped out and killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in! So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell down into the roaring flames. But suddenly, as he was watching, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, "Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?" "‘Yes," they said, "we did indeed, Your Majesty." "Look!" Nebuchadnezzar shouted. "I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire. They aren’t even hurt by the flames! And the fourth looks like a divine being!" (Daniel 3:19-25 NLT)
Daniel teaches me that God is with me in the hard times. When the fire rages and life seems out of control God is there, standing with me in the blaze. He walks around in your fire too.
Has your heart taken a beating from the loss of someone close? God is with you in the fire! Has some sickness sent the Richter scale of suffering to an all-time high? God is with you in the fire! Have the frustrations of your trials left you spiritually and emotionally bankrupt? God is with you in the fire!
God wants you to have a fire-retardant faith. He does not want you anguishing when winds of adversity ignite tender emotions like dry kindling. He does not want you to “go up in smoke” when hardships engulf your path. God’s presence is his protection. Trials will come like a refiner’s fire, but they serve only to temper us and not torch us. God is with you in the hard times; call on him for help.
FOCAL POINT: Why not begin your day by thanking God for his presence in your fiery trial. Ask for his help to walk through it.
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis