Peace and a Furnace of Blazing Fire
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, NASB)
My grandparents were very poor. They were simple people who farmed and lived off the land with periods of employment. My earliest childhood memory of them includes a large wood-burning stove on a dirt floor in a small one-room cabin. Later, gas space heaters replaced the stove in their new house that my father and uncles built. My father preserved childhood memories, by installing a modern energy efficient wood-burning stove in his house many years later, and used it until his death. I have vivid memories of standing next to the stove and gas heaters gazing into the flames. I was determined to see how close I could stand there, until the heat forced me to back up. I confess that my affinity for dancing fires in campsites and log cabins continues to this day.
Reading this passage, I’m reminded of the times I stood next to the fire and felt peace and joy in my heart. Even now, whenever conflict burns like a fire in my life and the flames threaten to consume me, I’m reminded of my childhood peace and joy. I give God praise that I know that the world’s fires will not touch me or cause me harm. I know that God and His grace will always deliver me unscathed.
Child of God, how about you? Can you withstand the fiery heat in your life? Like Daniel and his friends, will you emerge untouched? In the midst of raging fires, will you have peace and joy in your heart? I encourage you to walk in faith and, like Daniel, trust God. Know that He is able to deliver you from every fire!
Lord, thank You for the peace that comes from trusting You. Jesus, help me learn to fix my eyes, mind and heart on you, even when the world around me is on fire. Teach me to withstand the heat, knowing that you will deliver me safe and unharmed. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.