It’s easy to tout God will never give me more then I can handle, when life is great- but what about when the fire starts to burn? When your life is disintegrating in a pillar of smoke. When you stand as Job did with suddenly empty hands, and you feel all alone. Is God with us in the fire? To some that may seem like a silly question, but to others… to others facing the heat of the fire, perhaps they are wondering this question. Or even if God is with me then why am I walking through the fire?
There are times when God doesn’t fix it, but allows us to walk through the flames. He let us walk through the pain of losing a child. The defeat of having to let go of a dream. The agony of illness, or the betrayal of friends or family.
When You Are Walking Through The Fire
In Daniel 3:16 we find 3 familiar bible figures Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Mechasch and Abednego) facing this same situation. Not only have they been kidnapped, and held in captivity for years. But now because they refused to back down on their beliefs and worship a statue, they are about to be thrown into a furnace.
I think many of us can relate to these three, maybe we haven’t physically faced going through the fire but we’ve felt like we are. We’ve held the charred remains of our lives in exhausted hands. Felt the scorching heat trying to devour us, and bear the scars from walking through the flames.
If you look at these three men’s lives, it can be a little depressing. They’ve walked through the “God didn’t fix it” stage over and over again. And we kind of have to wonder where was God while all of this happened? God is with me always, but what about the days when it doesn’t look like He is? The times that we walk through the fire?
God Is With Me In The Fire
I think sometimes God lets us walk into a hard place, into the midst of the flames because He wants to teach us to rely on Him. He needs to teach us to hold on to Him- the real Him not cliché phrases or ideas, but the God who sees. The God who knows, the God who is right there with you every step of the way. So that we can recognize that God is with me, on the good days and the bad. And we can recognize our shepherd’s voice.
Like how a shepherd would break the legs of the lamb and then carry it, to teach it to stay near, the Lord has to break our self-reliance. He’s got to bring us into situations that are too hard for us to handle so that we have no choice but to rely on Him.
But I believe that there are also some times when He doesn’t fix the broken season right away. He allows us to walk in it. He lets others throw us in the furnace because He has a point, He needs to prove to them. Perhaps the furnace isn’t to break us or destroy us but to make us. To fire us like choice pottery.
God Will See You Through The Fire
Sometimes God allows us to walk through the fire so that He can step into the midst of it and sustain you. There is another in the fire with you. It’s not always about God keeping the bad things away from your life, or fixing the broken season but who is with you in the fire. God is in control, even when it doesn’t feel like it. God will see you through this place.
He didn’t abandon Shadrach, Mechasch, and Abednego when the king ordered them into the fire, but stepped through the fabric of time to join them in the flames. He is the God of the hills and the valleys, you will never be alone. When you walk through the fire, God will be with you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God. Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
When The Fire Comes God Is With Me
His grace is sufficient to see you through this season. Your God is in control, and right there with you in the midst of the flames. This fire can be the thing that breaks you, or if you let it, it can be the tool the Lord uses to refine you. When you feel alone in this place remember, there is another in the fire with you. The one who set the stars in place, and the boundaries of the ocean, the one who stood in the flames of the furnace with Shadrach, Meshasch, and Abednego is the very same one that stands with you.
Being a Christian doesn’t make you fireproof, in many ways it’s like fixing a giant target on your back. But God is with me when I walk through the fire. His grace gets me through when the heat threatens to overtake me. So that when I reach the other side of this season I can I leave it all here and step out without the stench of smoke clinging to me.
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