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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