Into the Fire

I was talking with a friend recently who is in a bad situation at work. It boils down to the fact that the company has changed and is now trying to cut all ties with Christianity. This woman has strong and vibrant faith, so cutting ties with Christians means cutting ties with her. They are trying to push her out every which way they can.

As she believes she is nearing the end of her time at this organization, she is preparing her exit interview and counting down the days. A thought occurred to me as I was scrubbing my toilet this afternoon (cleaning helps me think), perhaps her days aren’t numbered. What if God sometimes leaves us on a path where we think KNOW we don’t want to go for his glory?

I thought of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refusing to bow down to false idols and being sent to the blazing furnace. I’m sure they hoped for divine intervention before they were bound and thrown into the fire.

I thought of Daniel, being sent into the lion’s den, for continuing to pray to God when the law said he could not. Again, I’m sure he hoped God would intervene before the stone sealed him to certain death.

In these cases, God was ultimately glorified by refusing to step in when he “needed” to from the human perspective. As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remained in the blazing fire unharmed, it led to God being praised (Daniel 3:28). When Daniel was saved from the lions, God was recognized as the one behind it (Daniel 6:20-23).

My prayer for my friend is no longer that God will bring her out of this awful situation, but that God would break in: his power, his protection, his transformation. God, give her expectant faith to endure as you’re working something glorious. (Lest you think I’m the worst friend ever, I pray this same prayer for myself in my own painful situation.)

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