one of my favorite accounts is the story in Daniel 3 about the “3 Hebrew boys” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when they had been thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to worship king Nebuchadnezzar’s idol image… you probably know what happened…
Sometimes I ask myself what these stories mean for me, the many stories in the bible, where GOD showed up for people – be it to give them victory in a battle (like David), or to supply them supernaturally with something they desperately needed (like Hagar) or gave them an epic role to play in the history of the Jews and the courage to play it (like Esther) or when HE delivered them (like “legion”) or healed them (like the woman with the issue of blood)…
Since we say that GOD is the same yesterday, today and forever – or let me be more precise, we say it to remind ourselves, because the bible says it in
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever
So I am sometimes wondering and asking myself and also asking GOD about it.
Very recently, for instance, I was upset about something, in fact, upset about many things that have not gone the way I wanted them to go and prayed for them to go, I have looked back on the year I have been having so far… and it has been hard for me to find good things to remember, but it has been very, very easy to find a lot of very bad things… and then I started looking at the last year and at the years before and I compared my life to before and after I got saved and born again…
Have you ever been there, my friend?
When you were looking for fruit?
Looking for proof – not only inside, but outside proof – that you are actually favored, a CHILD OF GOD, a daughter (or son) of THE MOST HIGH?
I think all of us can find proof of hardships and suffering and I know, the bible says we should be honored to suffer with HIM as we are connected to HIM by our suffering, and I also know that HE said we all have to carry our cross…
But do you sometimes ever think about the people in the bible who were godly people AND also blessed, wealthy, happily married with children, successful, kings or queens – even Job got double for his trouble!! – do you ever wonder, my friend, like I do currently – where YOUR double for the trouble is, when it will come and what it will look like?
Do you ever, like me, wonder when the suffering and hardships and trials and tribulations will stop and when (or IF) a huge breakthrough will happen?
Me, I was thinking about these things, half ruminating, half praying, lying in my bed… talking to GOD, not so much asking HIM for anything, believe me, I have prayed about these things a gazillion times, even fasted, the same things that have been bugging, bothering and burdening me for a long time – this time, I was more asking for reasons, for explanations, for a perspective I might be missing…
Have you been there?
I was lying in bed and I felt as if I was burning.
Even physically, I felt a burning sensation in my body as well, as if I was on fire on the inside.
My mind was racing.
I had all these questions, probably more like accusations towards GOD.
I wasn’t so much crying out – I’ve done that, too, but not this time.
I also wasn’t led to seek for a change or a solution and channel this particular unease (at least the most current and most prominent one) into creating a change.
No, I was not led to become active.
Instead, I asked GOD to show me something.
Something that I needed to learn, something I was not seeing, something HE could give me to ease my mind…
And what HE gave me was HIS presence.
Not even PEACE.
Just HIS presence.
Nothing more and nothing less than the presence of GOD.
And the knowledge, reminder and assurance that HE is here with me.
IN the fire.
I don’t always feel like “the fire has no power over me, nor a hair of my body has been singed” as it says in Daniel 3:27 about the 3 Hebrew boys.
On the contrary, I often times feel greatly damaged and burnt – not only by what I have allowed the enemy to do to me before I got saved, but also by what has happened to me BECAUSE of my faith…
BUT one thing I can say and I can say it for sure:
GOD has never left me since I became born again.
Even before, I can now recall things HE has saved me from or where HE has protected me and even saved my life.
HE is there with me.
In the fire.
It’s true and it is also very real.
It’s true what HE said that HE will never leave me nor forsake me.
Obviously, we don’t know what would happen or would have happened to me/to us if HE wasn’t there.
Maybe sometimes this IS the blessing, the miracle, the victory, the abundance, the deliverance and the healing we are praying for… that HE is there.
I am doing my best to be grateful for the mere presence of GOD in my life and in my heart – and NOT see/focus on what HE says “no” to or does not do for me – and just appreciate that HE is always there.
And I do.
I do appreciate it and do my best not to compare my blessings to someone else’s… or to what HE could do – because what HE cannot do doesn’t exist.
So I am grateful that HE is here always and that HE loves me no matter what – that is so much more than we could ever get from anyone else.
However, the fire is still burning…
But GOD is here with me.
In the furnace.
I hope and pray that this will inspire, encourage, heal and bless you.
And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. That HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you PEACE. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.