Whoomph! Flames engulfed the paper my childhood best friend and I wanted to make look old. We’d already attempted rubbing wet teabags on the paper, but this had a less than desirable effect. Eight year olds not fazed by this, we put it under the grill.
My friend’s brother tackled the flames by chucking it in sink water, the floating pieces of burnt paper – not quite the aged effect we were hoping for!
Fire burns stuff, we’re taught it from an early age. In my post – they didn’t even smell of smoke, I talked about how God had caused us to come out of our fire (of betrayal and abandonment) not even smelling of what we’ve walked through.
However, there was some burning that happened in that fire, I wasn’t aware at the time, but it definitely happened!
Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual.
Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!
Daniel 3:19:25 NLT
There’s multiple crazy good things in this short passage:
- The flames were so hot, they killed the soldiers who were pushing the 3 men in. The 3 men pushed in lived, unharmed.
- 3 men were pushed in, but 4 were seen in the flames, ‘the fourth looks like a god!’
Nebuchadnezzar ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These weren’t weaklings who bound up the 3 men, they were his strongest army men, they knew what they were doing.
Nebuchadnezzar got the shock of his life by what he saw next, there should have been 3 bound men ’ “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”’
Yep I was thrown into the fire, and I definitely was bound, the biggest ones:
Pride – we were so in love and so confident our marriage wasn’t at risk, we did our way of marriage over God’s way. Once we started our reconciliation I had more issues, thinking I was better than my husband because I hadn’t done what he’d done. Unforgiveness – I thought I’d got forgiveness sorted in my early 20s after dealing with some rubbish that had happened in the past, but when everything went wrong in my marriage, it was obvious it wasn’t sorted at all. Poor reactions – not to everyone, just the people I loved (I know, I know – it’s backwards!!)
However these very things were burning off me in my fire. The fire served a purpose to unbound me, set me free – not quite what the enemy had in mind!
I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anyone, and have no desire to go through it again, but I’m overflowing with gratitude for the good that’s grown from it.
God didn’t put me in the fire, but He made it work for my good! Whatever fire (situation, struggle) you may find yourself in, put your trust in God:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose