Through The FlamesComment
Hardship and struggles are an unavoidable part of life. We all have things we struggle with, whether it be low self-esteem, parents divorcing, getting behind at school, or even losing a loved one. Any kind of struggle can easily lead to feelings of fear, loneliness, and isolation.
There are so many things we can turn to for help or comfort like friends, family, familiarity. Sometimes we try and distract ourselves by socialising, partying, or putting up a happy and bubbly front. Maybe you become more reclusive by disappearing into a good book or watching hours of Netflix. Ultimately, these things can be helpful for a while, but none of them really last. None of these things can bring peace or lasting comfort. The reality of it is that nobody on earth can walk through our struggles for us. There is hope though, a hope that there is someone to walk through our hard times WITH us.
Have a look at Daniel chapter 3. It tells of three men, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, who were faithful followers of the true God and wouldn’t worship anyone but Him, even if that cost them their lives. The three men were thrown into a fiery furnace by the king of the time, King Nebuchadnezzar, who was furious that these men would not bow down and worship an idol he had made.
The heat was turned up seven times hotter than usual, and the three men were bound up and thrown in. Much to his amazement and shock, King Nebuchadnezzar lept to his feet upon seeing not three but FOUR men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed. Even the king declared that the fourth man must be a son of the gods. In response, he called the men out of the flames, and they emerge. Not a hair on their head was burned, their robes were not scorched and there was no smell of fire on them.
How easily could God have just turned off the flames, or prevented the men from being thrown into the furnace? But He didn’t, He allowed them to be thrown in, to go into an incredibly hard situation that could easily have led to death. As always, and as He promised, God never left them nor forsook them (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). He sent his own son, Jesus, to walk through the fiery flames of trial with the men.
God doesn’t drop us in hard situations and leave us there alone. He also doesn’t always stop us from going through struggles or from having to deal with situations that hurt. What He does do is walk through the flames with us. He sticks by our side every step of the way and brings us through to the other side.
Have a read of the story in Daniel 3. How much easier would it be to face trials and struggles knowing that our all-powerful God, the God who cares for you, is right there in the flames with you, keeping you safe every step of the way?