As many of you know, I am in a season of transition right now. While it’s been a little bit stressful at times and definitely uncomfortable, I am so thankful for this season. God has been speaking so clearly to my heart that He is with me and I have been learning so much.
In this time of transition, though, I have been thinking a lot about the desires of my heart, my dreams, my plans, etc. It has made me question my thoughts on God “coming through for me” and what my expectations are for God as far as my dreams and desires go. I love the verse in Proverbs (13:12) that says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true there is life and joy.”
I get frustrated sometimes wondering when I will get to see that life and joy. Sometimes it seems like I live in the land of hope deferred. It’s really easy to sink into a pit and start blaming God for what seem like shattered dreams. I am so thankful that during this season, God has been so gentle with my heart and I have been reminded again that my true fulfillment is in Christ.
I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego in Daniel 3. If you aren’t familiar with the story, here is the Kelly short version. Basically there were these three guys who had pretty high positions with the King (Nebuchadnezzar). This king was a little crazy though and built this freaking huge image of gold that everyone was supposed to bow to. Well, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego refused to bow to something that wasn’t God. The King was not happy about this and told them that they could either bow or get thrown into the furnace. Then they answered the king (this is my favorite part of the story). They said:
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Did you catch the first part of verse 18? But even if he does not… Their desire was to be rescued. They knew that the God that they served was able to rescue them, but sometimes God doesn’t come through the way we think he will. I have realized that it’s so important to acknowledge that point (acknowledging that God is God and we are not) and to declare that even if he doesn’t, we are His alone.
The story goes on to say that the guys were thrown into the furnace and you could see them walking around inside. All four of them. Wait…weren’t their only three? Yes, but God met them there. I don’t know if that was God or an angel that he had sent for them that visited them in the furnace, but either way, God met them there. They were faithful in their calling. They acknowledged their desire and God’s ability to fulfill it. They acknowledged that God is God and they are not. Then, they took the plunge…and God met them there.