Are you familiar with the bible story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? It's one of my favorites. You can read it in its entirety in Daniel 3. In summary, it's the story of three men who disobeyed the king's edict to fall down and worship the king's golden statue, and ended up being thrown into a fiery furnace. They stood firmly on their belief that there is only one true God--the only one they would worship. They believed that their God would deliver them from the furnace, but even if He did not, they would not bow down to serve any other god. As a result, the king had the heat in the furnace increased sevenfold, and the men were bound and thrown fully clothed into the fiery furnace. Many people came to watch. However, as the king was looking inside the burning furnace, he noticed there were not 3, but 4, men walking around in the fire, with one looking like a god. He called for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to come out. The fire hadn't touched them at all--they were unscorched, unsinged, untainted even by the smell of smoke.
Have you ever been thrown in life's furnace? I know I have. Many times. And I've often felt like a circus monkey with some folks watching to see if I would be scorched. Now there were times when I was singed because I was trying to handle things on my own. But in those times when I wore the right clothes (some of you know where I'm going with this), I came out unharmed. I don't mean there weren't some lessons learned. If we're smart, we're always looking for lessons. But when I put on my armor and, instead of trying to handle it myself, looked to God for my help, those are the times I came out of the fire without even a hint of smoke. And I feel joy in my soul about that.
How about you? Have you ever felt like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? How did you handle it?