Through Not From
Although I’ve read or heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego many times, I will never forget the instance the Lord showed me a powerful truth that transformed my thinking. This account is found in Daniel chapter 3. King Nebuchadnezzar made an image and required everyone to bow down to it. These three Jewish men wouldn’t do it because they worshiped the One True God. As a result, they were bound and thrown into a fiery furnace. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous…
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, "Certainly, O king." He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods." [Believed to be the pre-incarnate Christ] … Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out… the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. (Dan 3:24-27 NIV)
I had always thought about this account as a time when God saved the three young Jewish men from the fire. But that isn’t true. God didn’t save them from it, He saved them through it! What a revelation!!
Now, you may be thinking, “What’s the difference?” Sure, either way, they came out unscathed. But the significance of this truth is that God did not choose to prevent them from having to go into the fiery furnace. He instead carried and guarded them through it. They saw the flames and felt the heat, but were unharmed.
How many times in our lives do we ask God to protect us from something: financial difficulties, relationship conflicts, health issues and the like. Our all-powerful God has the ability to snatch us from the grips of all these things, and sometimes He does. Yet in my experience, He more often chooses to carry us through them.
What a beautiful picture this account paints of our loving Father! There are lessons God wants us to learn through our trials, and characteristics He wants to develop in us (James 1:2-4), but He doesn’t just leave us on our own. He is there with us through it all!
The next time you're in the middle of something and God has chosen not to save you from it, praise Him for carrying you through it!
Just something that convicts and amazes me along the way.