I don’t know how I missed it. Maybe it was never included in the children’s version of this story.
It’s a well-known Biblical account. Three men refused to worship the evil king’s golden idol so the king threw them into a blazing furnace. The furnace was so hot that it killed the soldiers who got close enough to throw the men in.
Here’s a detail of the story that I missed until I started reading the entire Chronological Bible each year. The king looked into the furnace and saw 4 men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed.
4 men – not 3.
The king called the 4th person an angel. I believe it was Jesus, sent by God to protect Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They walked through the fire together.
The fire didn’t stop when the three men were thrown in.
The king didn’t change his mind at the last minute.
An army of angels didn’t swoop down from heaven to save the day.
God had an unimaginable number of ways he could have saved these 3 men. He chose to send a personal rescuer into the fire with them. Jesus walked with them – just like he walks with us when we are in the middle of a fire in our lives.
Our fires can look like failure….
the list goes on.
My biggest personal fire was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. All of my expectations of what the rest of my life looked like were destroyed on that day. The flames of that fire are still burning up pieces of my life, leaving mountains of painful ash behind.
But Jesus was there. And he is here as I continue to walk on this very tough road piled high with grief and loss.
I have discovered that, as I remain faithful in the fire, God is using this time to grow my trust, grow my perseverance and grow my faith.
My loss and pain will not go away this side of heaven but God has given me peace and a purpose. I’m thankful for the opportunities he gives me to share what I am learning about God’s faithfulness as he walks with me daily,
in the middle of the fire.
Thank you, Abba Father.