This morning, I read the story of the Three Hebrew Children in Daniel 3. I love this story for many reasons. Like other passages of scripture, I always see something new when I read it again. Take a minute if you have one to read this story again. Let it build your faith.
The order went out for everyone to bow to the idol when the music played. These three chose to be furnace walkers rather than bow to the pressure of the day. We may not have a physical king who is trying to get us to bow to an idol, but our culture is constantly digging at us and trying to distract us from all things God. The king was so angry that they wouldn't cave into his evil desires that he ordered the fire to be stoked, ensuring their quick death. But it didn't go down that way at all.
Flames from the fire killed the men throwing the three Hebrew children in. (Miracle number one - it didn't touch them.) They fell in bound by ropes. (Miracle number two - they could not protect themselves in the fall - had no way to soften the blow - but they were uninjured.) Then, the king noticed there were four men in the fire instead of three. (Miracle number three - Jesus was in the fire with them!) In one instant, their faith made them furnace walkers.
As caregivers, every day can feel like a furnace walking day. Some days are hotter than others! But here we are, walking in the furnace of life, still clinging to faith. Furnace walkers are a rare breed. They face difficult circumstances. Furnace walkers have the tenacity to say - this may kill me, but I'm taking God in there with me! And right there, in the middle of the peace - they find a deeper relationship with God. They learn to walk in His peace, even though bound by the constraints life brings. They learn to trust God no matter how hot the flames get. And they lean into His heart and listen for His every breath. Yeah, you're a furnace walker, aren't you?
Today, I'll remind myself that God is in the furnace with me - He did not send me in alone. He's walking with me and won't bail no matter how hot the trial becomes. I'll take some time today to look back on this caregiving journey and reflect on those times when I knew He was with me. I'll use them to encourage myself to hang on for one more day and trust Him for one more walk in the fire. Will you join me?