This morning I was reading a familiar story from Daniel about three guys named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Most of you recognize the names as the fellows who were thrown into the fiery furnace of the king after refusing to bow to his idol. The climax of the account is found when despite the blaze the men suffer no harm, and they are saved by the son of God from the fire, not even smelling like smoke when they get out.
When King Nebuchadnezzar told them they better bow down to his idol or they’re going in the furnace, they replied that they’re not worried because their God will save them. But it’s the flip side of their reply that got me. They continued, “but even if He doesn’t…”
Even if He doesn’t.
They knew God could do it. They had faith He could. But the real faith came in the statement that even if He didn’t, they still believed their God was the one and only true God. They wouldn’t bow down to anything else.
Even if He doesn’t, I love Him.
Even if He doesn’t, I trust Him.
Even if He doesn’t, I am blessed.
When we can face the fiery furnace of this life and say, “but even if He doesn’t,” then we are truly blessed. We’re blessed because we understand that the hot pits of this world mean nothing when held in comparison to eternity in His presence and love. It may get uncomfortable for a little while, it may even be painful, but it doesn’t last.
Sometimes fire is just meant to purify us, to burn out the places that don’t belong. Sometimes you gotta smell like smoke a little to remind you of the truth.