…[everyone saw] that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed nor were their trousers damaged, nore had the smell of fire even come upon them. – Daniel 3:27
I read a quote somewhere a while back and I don’t remember where it came from, so pardon the lack of attribution, but it stuck in my head and comes back now as I pray fervently about the road ahead for my kids and I.
The only reason you don’t think I’ve been through anything is because I don’t look like what I’ve been through.
If you know me and my family, you know that we have been really going through the wringer this past year and it is not over yet. I won’t bore you with all the dirty laundry details but if we looked like what we’ve been through, we would be a pretty sorry sight to see. But by the grace of God, “I am holding on to You in the middle of the storm” as Crowder sings. He is our Provider, Protector and Sustainer in our own personal fiery furnace. He is my Rock and the anchor for my soul as my pastor has been repeating because of the tragedy that struck their family last year with the death of their oldest daughter.
No matter how suffocating the pressures and emotions seem to get, I don’t have to let it define me. Jesus had pretty harsh words for those who would put on sackcloth and ashes and make a great show of their piety in suffering just to gain sympathy and a reputation for righteousness without looking at what was actually in their hearts. He instructed his disciples to clean themselves up and go about without calling attention to themselves when they were in need, praying quietly in a private place and letting God handle it. Melodramatic gestures don’t seem to be the way to get God to answer prayer.
So when it seems like God is not running to my rescue fast enough, I need to remember that His timing is always perfect, even if it is not my timing. No matter how bad things get, GOD can erase any evidence that the shame, humiliation and rejection ever happened. I can come through unscathed by His grace.
Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; neither feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; but you will forget the shame of your youth and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. – Isaiah 54:4
My God is bigger than any shame and disgrace, any insult, mockery and manipulation or misplaced “good intentions.” By His hand, any negative effect or expectation of negative effect can be completely cut off and never come near me nor my children. Emotional and financial damage, shame and humiliation can disappear overnight or in an instant or just never materialize at all, as He delivers and makes all things new. By this He shows that HE is the LORD and Ruler over all cause and effect, not any human agency that may seek my domination and humiliation or place false expectations on me to turn me from the path that HE has laid out for me, through much prayer and consult with godly counsel.
Yes, LORD! Be it unto me as You have decreed. May I live to see Your salvation and vindication, rescue and deliverance in the land of the living. I live for YOUR approval alone! In Jesus’ Name. Amen
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
I am NOT ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. – 2 Timothy 1:12