Thirtieth Day of Lent

Scripture: Daniel 3:8-30 

This is the familiar story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar. The part of this story that catches my attention is their response to the King when he demands they bow down. They said, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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. 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” (v. 16-18).

How often do we feel that we have to defend ourselves to others? Or that we have to justify our actions and choices? It is a good reminder that we are accountable to God first. Our job is to do what is pleasing and obedient to Him, not others. Pleasing co-workers, bosses, friends and neighbours can sometimes cloud over what God may be asking from us and may cause us to compromise our faith and values.

I also like the fact that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego willing go into the furnace knowing that God is capable and able to save them, but also knowing that He may choose not to. In life, we can have confidence that God’s timing is perfect, and His will for us is perfect. His plan for our life is exactly what we need. He knows the big picture. Life may not go as we hope or expect, and lousy things will happen to all of us. It is a challenge not to blame God for it. Rather, we need to stand with faith and confidence that when we put God first and honour Him, the results are up to Him. He might save us out of our situations or let us endure them a little longer, but His plan is perfect. It seems easy to say on paper, but trusting God confidently when life throws us curve balls is difficult, and it is a daily choice to trust and rely on Him. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us in our weaknesses.

Jocelyn Beehler
Valley ECC
Durban, MB