Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Walking through the flames

I read the best devotion this morning about walking through trials in our lives. We all have them. Some trials are harder than others but one thing is the same.... Our God is with us through each step.
This last year in my life, many trials were with my family. With Papa being so sick and in the nursing home, then Mother finding out she had pancreatic cancer. He passed away in September then the next 3 months we spent loving on Mother until she, too, went home to be with the Lord. There were so many times during this journey, that were almost unbearable at night when my head would hit the pillow. But always, knew the Lord was with us, and that was the hope that got us through each day. I remember telling Mother one day when she felt so bad that I wished I could take all the pain and sickness away, we were praying for God to give her that healed body with us, but we know also, that He may be planning to give her that perfect body with Him. She looked at me and nodded her head that she knew that too. Then we sat, holding hands, in her den, no words needed to be said at that point.
Her journey is over and she won that race of life and has her inheritence with Him in Heaven with that new and perfect body. Our journey still goes on without her. The days are getting easier, still missing her, but moving ahead. I come across a verse or a devotion that reminds me of her and our last year and it comes alive again. The hope, the assurance, the promise that He gives us that He is with us always. And that promise is all we need to hold onto as we run our own race and go through trials again. He is with us in good times and bad! Enjoy!!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

Friend To Friend
One of the most beautiful pictures of trusting in the sovereignty of God is in the story of three young Jewish men: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three lads refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. The punishment for such rebellion against the king was death in a fiery furnace. When the young men were taken before the king just before facing death, they respectfully explained:

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 3:17-18)
That is a faith that’s real – truly tried by fire. God can deliver me, but if He chooses not to, I’ll serve Him anyway. God can heal me, but if He doesn’t, I love Him regardless.

The young men were thrown into the furnace. Their refusal to bow to the King’s request infuriated Nebuchadnezzar. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie the young men up and toss them into the flames. The flames were so hot, the soldiers who took the bound boys to the furnace died in its heat. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked into the flames and the King stood by to watch.

“Didn’t we throw three men in the furnace,” the King asked in amazement.

“Look, I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25).

That was enough for the king to have a change of heart. He ordered the door opened, and the three young men walked out of that furnace without a singed hair on their heads or a hint of smoke on their clothes!

We can be sure of this, my friend - when walking through the fiery trials of life, we are never alone. Jesus is right there with us all the way. A little smoke and fire doesn’t bother Him one little bit.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, thank You that I never have to walk through the fiery trials of life alone. You promised that You will never leave me, and I cling to that truth today. Also, thank You for sending friends to walk through the flames with me! They are some of my most treasured gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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