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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fiery Experience

Sometimes I wonder if I am ruined, forever to be passed over as not quite good enough.  I fear the judgement I once would have passed on others - Her marriage failed, she couldn't hold it together.  Why couldn't she just stick it out and wait for him to change?  I worry that I will become exhausted, angry, bitter, resentful - alone.

Every person goes through trials.  I don't know why I get so self-centered as to think I'm the only one!

Meshack, Shadrach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace because of their unwavering loyalty to God.  I wonder if they were worried?  Instead of backing down in the confrontation, they stood firm on their faith and let God dictate their outcome.  What harm cam to them in their fiery  trial?  None - they emerged unharmed and with blazing testimonies.

I want that, too - I want to emerge from this season of dispair and loss utterly unharmed.  I know it is possible because God has done it before.  I want no bitterness, no cynical spirit.  I pray this for my children as well, that their hearts will be whole and healthy, their outlook positive and hopeful.  I pray that our trials drive us to God and not to seek our own escapes.  When we remain true to Him, and often when we fail, God bestows to us His protection and provision.  These are the great elements of love as I understand it.  Sometimes we are delivered from our experience completely untouched, not even the smell of smoke about us.  Not even an attitude of discouragement nor the hopelessness and anger that threaten.  Other times the heat purifies us, bringing that which must be changed up to the surface where it can be burned away.  Sometimes we do face wordly consequences, but we never walk through the fire without His company.

 Are you experiencing a firey trial right now?  Emerging from one? Can you see how God has been with you?  Do you struggle with the feeling of being irepairably damaged?

"...They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them." Daniel 3:27


  1. Yes. I understand and empathize because I am there. One of my biggest concerns is for my children. I want desperately for them to enjoy a rich (in terms of emotion and family) life, but my circumstances make that extremely difficult.

    Someone encouraged me by explaining that life is difficult. And my children will encounter great difficulties. Jesus promised this. They watch us hit trials, and our response greatly impacts their ability to face future painful circumstances. If we depend on Christ--allowing Him to be our refuge, trusting His goodness and promises, and finding hope in Him alone-they will see that we live by faith. And this faith is tested during these times, when life seems to fall apart. This is when the rubber truly meets the road.

    I am reading the Voice of the Martyrs, and I am amazed at the stories. These people believe so strongly in Christ that they face traumatic torture for sharing the gospel. Yet they are joyfully witnessing over and over. The author shares that his son became a true follower of Christ when he saw his mother in prison calling to him to believe. He realized that this faith must be truly important and real. His mother was tortured for it, but her son believed.

    All this to say, stand firm. Trust in the One who made you and your children. He is able to accomplish far more than you can imagine through the trials that seem angering and unfair. I struggle not to allow bitterness to take root. And it truly is an ongoing battle. But our children are watching, and our God is so big. I appreciate you sharing your story. My life, as well, is far from flawless. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father isn't looking to heal and care for the "healthy" life, but the flawed one.

  2. Missy, as you know I am in my own trials right now. I needed this, this morning! I feel like I'm in a fire, but it's in these fires that God does refine us. Sometimes, it's hard to see that! I just read through the book of Daniel last week and thought the same thing about Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.. along with David. Did they wonder, "how long will we be in here, God?" or did they just trust? I so often find myself asking, "how long God?" but only He knows! Thanks for these reminders of my studies last week through Daniel! God is so faithful to bring things to light for us when we feel that we are in darkness.

    With love,