“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up'” (Daniel 3:16-18).
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is one of those stories children love in Sunday School (well, they did when I was a kid, or when I was teaching those kids!). There’s suspense, action, and special effects–yet the good guys win. But not on their own–God protects them.
I was thinking about how tough life is at times, particularly for some of my dear friends living with chronic illness. One hard thing added to an already difficult existence, just doesn’t always seem fair. Yet I see them continue to trust God to bring them through.
The words “in the midst of the fiery furnace–it’s still hot” came to mind. I decided to revisit this story.
How was it for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? Did they still feel the heat in the furnace?
They believed God would rescue them–“but even if he does not”–they would not turn away from what they believed and what God had called them to do.
The angel of God was protecting them and they emerged from the furnace with no part of them singed by the heat and flames (v 26-27)–yet those that had escorted them in there had been burned up (v 22).
Life with chronic illness can sometimes seem like you’ve been thrown into a fiery furnace. It feels like those flames and heat will overcome you.
It is hot and it is hard–we face the flames of fear, doubt, loneliness, depression–along with the pain. Your flames may be different, but they are still hot.
Yet those flames will not overcome us because God has promised He will bring us through–as He has proved to us before. Ultimately God takes us to be with Him where there are no more of those flames for us to face.
Prayer: God, I thank You that You are greater than the flames that would seek to overpower us. It may still be hot in what feels like the fiery furnace we are facing, but we are not alone. Help us to hold on to that promise and keep us close to You, the One who overcomes. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
What do you hold on to when you feel the flames of your illness threaten to overwhelm you?
In the song “Greater” Chris Tomlin sings about how great our God is! He is always greater than anything–our problems, our worries, our pain, our griefs. He will always protect us from that which we need protected from, and other times He will allow the suffering, but never leave our side. Bless you, -Lisa