Wednesday, February 16, 2011

But If Not . . .

I’ve had a rough few days with migraines – the kind that make me wonder where God is and what He is doing.  Cause, clearly, he’s not healing my headaches.  I know from the Bible and from history that God is able to fix  them, yet He has chosen not to.

Do you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?  (I remember a great Sunday School song we used to sing about them.)  They were Jews who had been exiled to Babylon.  While they were there, King Nebudcanezzar decided it would be a great idea for him to make a huge idol of himself and require people to bow down to it.  Some of the king’s astrologers saw this and reported it to the king.  Here’s the exchange that happens next:

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King 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 deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

So the three guys got thrown in the fiery furnace, but survived and were even joined by another being – either an angel or a pre-incarnation of Jesus.

What I find interesting, though, is what they told Nebudcanezzar.  They believed that God could deliver them, but even if God chose for them to die in the furnace, they would continue to worship Him.

And if not”  (the King James’ Version).  That’s what I need to remember.  “And if not” (i.e. God chooses to let me continue having migraines, etc.), I will still only worship the one true God who loved me enough to become a human and pay for my sins.  And, honestly, my sin issue needs far more work than my migraines. 

Every morning when I wake up (or afternoon, like today), I have to make a choice.  Will I follow my Lord?  I know he can heal me, make life work out perfectly, etc.  And if not, I will love and worship Him anyway.

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