The fiery furnaces of our lives

Not my will Lord



I believe that we are all familiar with the story in the Book of Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and how they were thrown into the fiery furnace after they would not submit, bow or worship the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar.  Shadmeabed The King had made a decree that anyone who would not worship this statue would be killed instantly.  The point in this story that really hits home with me is when these three godly men respond to the King by saying, 

“Daniel 3:16-18 (New International Version) 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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."

I am not sure about the rest of you, but I have had many challenges (trials and tribulations) in my life that have seriously and truly tested my faith and I am not proud to say that I have not always responded the way that God desires me to respond.  However, God is a gracious God, and through patience and unfailing love he nurtures me to grow and come closer to Him. 

I have blogged before about my bout with cancer and my wife’s health issues these past couple of years.  To say that this has been trying would not even penetrate the outer layer of pain and discomfort this has caused me and my walk.  It was in this time in my life with my wife’s health that I had kept praying and fighting and arguing with God to do my will and not His.  It is funny how life can be so overwhelming that we quickly come to decisions and that if we were to pause and ask for wise counsel that we would never have decided to take that path.  Yet, some of us (mainly myself) will spend immeasurable time researching the internet and polling friends on the best deals and or quality electronics out there to buy and research the ways and means to pay the cheapest price for it.  But I digress.  What I am trying to get to is when all hope and faith were shaken and all but gone I realized that God loves me and cares for me and has plans for me and not to harm me but to prosper me and to give me an abundant life in Him. 

It was at this point in my life (my wife’s health – a major life threatening health issue) that  I prayed these words:  “Not my will Lord, but your will be done!”  I broke down and I cried and I wrestled with him (in prayer) not to take my wife, but when I gave that all to Him the burden that I was carrying was no longer just mine – It was His!  He wanted to carry my burden, because his yoke is easy. 

So even if work is no longer, or a loved one is no longer, or our situation is not the way that we want it to be, I can tell you that God will meet us right there – right where we are at and deliver us (not in our time and our will) but in His time and His will.  Oh to have that faith to say even if we die in that furnace we will not turn away from our God – WOW, what faith!

Tonight my heart was broken because a few of us prayed over a boy (a young boy) who has very serious and life threatening cancer.  We prayed over him and his family.  We prayed for God’s will and for God’s healing on this boy if that is His will.  I cannot explain to you (on this side of Heaven) why bad things happen to good people and why good things happen to bad people and why bad people have bad things happen to them – I simply cannot).  What I can tell you is that without God in our lives, everything under the sun is pure vanity.  Without Jesus in our lives, there is emptiness that yearns for a savior.  We can test hope and we can test faith, but love will always be with us because that is God’s will for us to love one another and to care for one another and to help one another and to disciple one another.

Did you know that we have a power in each and every one of us that was given to us by Jesus?  We have a power that He left with each and every one of our temples:  Our bodies.  The Holy Spirit dwells in each and every one of those who call on Jesus as Savior.  Where ever you are at in your life, whatever struggles that you are going through, I am here to tell you that God loves you.  He wants a relationship with you!  He want more than just a quick email, or a quiet glance, or a simple token of appreciation, HE WANTS a relationship with us- His will be done.