Can we talk for just a minute about those three guys in the book of Daniel? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. First of all, their names ROCK!! Kinda wish I had considered one of them when I was looking through the Biggest Book of Baby Names for my kids.
"Shadraq, you get down here this instant!"
"Stop that crying, Abednedgo, or I'll give you something to cry about!"
"Meshach McGarity, just wait until your father gets home!"
Yeah, it could have worked...
The thing I loved about their response was that they were okay with whatever God chose for them. The king challenged that God wouldn't come down to save them from the fire. And they said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Oh, He could save us if He wanted. No doubt! Make no mistake that He's that powerful. But even if He chooses not to, know that we went down happy to not serve your god." Oh, the courage...
Thankfully, the story has a happy and miraculous ending. Just after all three men are thrown into the blazing fire, bound, K.N. jumps to his feet and inquires of his men, "Didn't we cast three men into the fire?" When they answer in the affirmative, he protests, "But I see four men unfettered and unhurt walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God." The angel of the Lord had taken their hand to walk them through the fire, unscathed, simply because they trusted God...whatever His decision. I was so inspired as I was reading this passage on Wednesday. Then I realized that it took me 42 years to get to the point where I would allow myself to be led through my raging infernos accompanied.
How many times did I walk through the fire, hurting myself, because I didn't trust that anyone would take my hand and guide me out?
And how many times did I doubt that I was worth saving?
Oh, the burns, the blisters, the scalded hurt of living life without the kind of faith that says, "God loves me...is All-powerful and present...He will save me, even if He doesn't give me what I want." We all walk through the fire daily. Now I choose to walk through it holding the hand of the angel of the Lord. And I, too, will emerge unscathed.