The Fiery Furnace
Click here to read Daniel Chapter 3 in the NIV translation.
Click here to read Daniel Chapter 3 in the Message paraphrase.
We learn that Nebuchadnezzar has passed a decree that EVERYONE is to worship him and his image. Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who are Jews, refuse to worship Nebuchadnezzar, because they are followers of the one true God. When Nebuchadnezzar finds out he becomes so furious that he orders them to be put to death by fire in the burning furnace if they do not change their ways. The men are throne in the furnace and by the grace of God they are saved. King Nebuchadnezzar witnesses the miracle and recognizes that Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego's God is the true God. (King Nebuchadnezzar still has a lot to learn about God though, his story continues for several more chapters in the book of Daniel.)
I want to draw your attention to the young men's response to the king's threat to throw them in the fiery furnace is they don't worship him and his image.
Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)
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 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.”
I'd like to take the liberty to "personalize" this verse in respect to how our faith in Jesus shapes our feelings about Ethan's disorder.
"The God we serve is able to completely heal Ethan of PBD. God has the power to cure Ethan. But even if He does not, we will not turn away from our God, we will not lose our faith in Jesus Christ."
A good friend asked a few weeks ago how my faith was, in light of Ethan's diagnosis. I won't lie, some days are really tough, and I ask why alot - see the previous post, Why Ethan? Why Anyone? - but just because we question it doesn't mean we don't believe!
Because we know that Ethan is not here by accident. That God has a purpose and plan for our little man. That for some reason, that I won't pretend to "understand," God allowed for Ethan to be born with PBD. But I do know that the Lord will be glorified by Ethan's life. We will choose to praise Him for the amazing son we have and love. Ethan brings joy to nearly anyone who meets him, and because of Ethan's diagnosis I have met some of the most wonderful people in the world, and am honored to call them my friends.
So, like those three young Jewish men, we will remain committed. Committed to a God that CAN heal our son if that is His will. Committed to a God who may choose not to heal our son, if that is His will. Because the Lord's plan for Ethan is bigger than anything that we can imagine and most likely will never know this side of heaven. Please don't think that I don't still pray for Ethan to be healed by the supernatural power of the Lord, because I still pray for this miracle daily!
I am still going to have tough days, I know I will, at times I might have more tough days than good days, but it is then that I must hold tight to the promise found in Romans 8:28, "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."
- That people will come to know the hope that is only found in Jesus.
- For Ethan and all children with PBD to be healed. For miracles to happen! For a treatment and a cure for PBDs. For the doctors, researchers, therapists, and teachers who dedicate themselves to help children with PBD.
- For all the families impacted by PBD, especially those whose little one has already been called home to heaven.
- For the families whose children's health is poor. The winter is really tough on PBD kiddos, and things such as a simple cold or flu can be devastating to our children's health.
- For Jeff and I to always hold strong to the Lord and each other as we love and cherish Ethan everyday that he is with us here on Earth. Pray that we will always seek to honor and give glory to God.