Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Daniel 3:19-30 (NRSV)
Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” He replied, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
This was one of my favorite Bible stories as a kid. I was amazed at how Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego stood up to King Nebuchadnezzar and how they survived after being thrown into the fiery furnace. Is this a passage that you find amazing? The way the three men left the furnace was awesome: no burns, clothes not singed, not even the smell of fire on them! All of this after the fire had been made seven times hotter than usual!
As remarkable as all this was, the thing I find the most fascinating and inspiring is that there was a fourth person in the furnace with them. These three men went into that furnace because of their unrelenting love for their God, and God went with them. They were never alone in that fiery furnace. We are never alone in our fiery furnace either. Our furnace could be an illness, waiting on test results, a divorce, a job loss, death of a loved one, etc. God will be with us. Our faith and passion for God can give us the courage we need to make it through any furnace. We may come out singed or a little burnt, but God will be with us and bring us peace and healing.
God, be with us during the times in which we find ourselves in the furnace. Remind us that we are never alone. Thank you for your presence in our lives and for loving us so much. Amen.
Go with God.