A few weeks ago, one of my granddaughters was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She is 11 years old. We have gone through various stages of grief with this new life for her, along with her family. We know that this condition is treatable and that many families deal with more grim realities, but that doesn’t make her situation any less real for her, for us. Asking God for answers becomes a daily routine. Sometimes there are answers. Sometimes there are none. Crisis, no matter how it presents itself, can lead us to deeper faith or to question, and sometimes cast off our faith.
Through the fire
Days ago, I read through a devotional based on the story of Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. I am sure you know it. They are in captivity in Babylon. They have been given a lot of responsibility because of how God has blessed them. King Neb sets up the golden statue and commands all to worship it. They refuse, and he threatens them with being thrown into the fire. Their response has always impacted me, but this time I see it from a different perspective.
“The God we serve can save us from you and the fiery furnace, but whether he does or not, we will not worship the image.” (my paraphrase)
These three Israelites did not worship God because of what he had done for them, or for what they hoped he would do for them. How God acted was not a factor in their belief. They worshipped him for who he was.
How would our attitudes toward life and faith change if we lived with the commitment to worship and believe whether God did what we wanted or expected? Many of us have allowed ourselves to see God as our personal genie, who we bring along with us to bless our plans and keep us safe. We have consumerized our faith.
As we live this day and this week, let us do so, holding fast to Jesus’ promise to be with us to the very end of the age no matter what looms ahead. He never promised we would avoid trouble. In fact, he clearly told us we would encounter it in the world. He also reminded us that he had overcome the world, and in holding onto that truth, we can find peace in every circumstance.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.Luke 14:27