Not Alone

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….

grief……

disease……

disappointment….

betrayal…..

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. 

Walking Through the Fire

We are never alone.

As believers, the Spirit of God lives within us.

God walks with us every step of our lives….even through the fire.Sept 4 2015 our God is able

God reminds us of this as we read the historical account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace because of their faith in God.

As King Nebuchadnezzar watched the furnace expecting to see all 3 of them burn, he witnessed a miracle.  There were actually 4 men in the furnace and they were walking around, unharmed. Nebuchadnezzar described the 4th person as a ‘son of the gods.’  An angel.  And this angel was walking around inside of the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, waiting until it was God’s time for the door to open so they could come out.

God protected them.  He sent an angel as a visible symbol of his care and concern for them.

God still sends angels today.  In our lives, angels most often take the form of another believer whom God sends to be a visible symbol of his love and care for us.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of every believer.  As a result, when we do his will, our hands become his hands.  Our words become messages from God.

Or sometimes God still sends angels from heaven.  Maybe you’ve met one?  And maybe you’ve met one but you didn’t know it.

And there are other times when we may be physically alone but God’s spirit within us makes us very aware than we are not spiritually alone.

God is very alive within us.

And he walks with us through the fire…

through the pain…

through the uncertainty.

Great is your faithfulness, Abba Father!

Living Our Faith Out Loud

Think about the top official person of whatever you’re really interested in – the President of the United States, the Governor of your state, the Mayor of your city, the Commissioner of the National Football League :).  Imagine this person on TV announcing to everyone that ‘We are here today to give praise to the God of (your name).  (Your name) trusted in God and he came through for them.  So I am passing a new law that no one anywhere can say anything against this God.  For no other god can do what he did.”

This is bringing glory to God in a big way!  And this actually happened after Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego put their lives on the line in order to be faithful to God.Sept 7 2014 Because We Trust him

Very few of us get involved in a such a dramatic test of our faith.  But we have little tests all of the time.  Someone asks us a question where we could bring up God or not.  What to we do? Avoid the subject?  Not bring it up?  Or bring it up?  Let people who that we love God.

What do we choose?

As often happens when I write a blog like this, God challenged me 2 days ago about this same issue.  I was ordering a salad in the café in the office building where I work…I was in a hurry…lots of people I didn’t know standing around.  I often talk to the manager and he was taking my order.  When he was done, he asked me what plans I had for the weekend.

My plans this weekend were to be a group leader in an all-day discipleship training at church yesterday and go to church again today.   And fit in some time to get my hair done.  I was going to sound pretty ‘churchy’ if I shared my real plans, wasn’t I?  In front of all of these people?

I had already started this blog and I was immediately convicted about my second thoughts on sharing what I was really going to do.  So,  I told him the truth.  And he smiled and said he was planning to go to church Sunday, too.  How nice!  Now we have something more in common.

Little tests.  Small unexpected challenges to share what we’re REALLY doing or how we REALLY feel.

Please help us grow in being able to always live our Christian lives out loud, dear Father.