Walk Through Fire

The Santiago Fire, October, 2007
A Great Big Faith
Yesterday I read again the story of  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who during the Jews’ time of exile to Babylon were thrown into the fiery furnace by an outraged King Nebuchadnezzar for refusing to worship a giant gold idol he had erected.
It’s an amazing tale of great faith and God’s protection of His servants. You can find it in Daniel 3, if you’d like to read it. I found myself reflecting on the passage through the day.
Finally, I said to my husband Rich: “I want a faith that big…but I don’t want it to be tested so severely.”
I thought of my own walks through the furnace in life. I wouldn’t have volunteered for any of them.  I’m no Shadrach, Meschach, or Abednego.
Later in the day, I heard the sad news that the bodies of 10 members of International Assistance Mission had been discovered in Afghanistan. The Taliban took responsibility for their murders, claiming they had been spying and preaching Christianity.
Today my heart is with the families and friends of those 10 people. I hope God is visible to them as they walk through the fiery furnace of grief.
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. 25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”
Daniel 3:16-25 (NLT)