The reading for today is Daniel 3:19-30.
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
I wonder if this is where the phrase “Trial by fire” came from?
I always loved this story as a kid. Maybe because Daniel did such a good job of describing every detail, I could really visualize this in my imagination. Maybe I love the story so much because it is a very real and dramatic example of God’s promise “He will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm 91:11). I have never actually seen an angel (or at least realized it) but I can say with certainty there were many times in my life when I was doing stupid things yet God and his angels kept me safe. Take a minute to recall a time in your life, when Divine Intervention alone was what protected you.
Even though I love his story, it makes me uncomfortable at the same time. Would I be that brave under extreme persecution? Would my faith be so strong that it kept me safe during a trial by fire? Oh, how I wish that I could say “Yes!” I’m afraid it would be a lie. I’m a weenie, a scaredy cat and lack a lot of willpower. The Good News, the happy ending to this story is our God’s strength overcomes our weakness. I can’t say what dark hours might be ahead, I can’t pretend to know what trials you may be facing. In all things, let’s hold on to each other and let’s cry out to Him. He will bring us through.
Everlasting Father, When the going gets tough, remind me that you are there with me, and that in the end, Love wins. Amen.
Connie Simmonds firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: Firefighters, rescue workers and their families who support them