What happens when God fails to live up to my expectations or when He says no? It’s a heavy thought. Why doesn’t God fix things?
This train of thought chugs downs a track full of questions. If faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains, does a stationary mountain depict a lack of faith? Does God require faith that He can or that He will?
For many, this is where the locomotive goes off the rails. The freight cars hauling faith, trust, and hope pile under the uncomfortable question: What will I do if God says no?
Enter: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are three regular guys from the days of old. They are not super heroes, just normal guys desiring to live a life of great faith that honors their great God.
Just like me and you. Normal people desiring to live a life of faith.
When they refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue they were condemned to execution by fiery furnace.
Have you been there my friend? Knowing that God can redeemed your situation, but also knowing that He might not?
These guys respond to the charge against them without hesitation. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.”
These guys speak straight to my heart. Can God save them? Yes. But would He? They had no idea. God can – you bet He can – but He might not. They leave us with a better question to ponder. What will I do if God doesn’t answer the way I want Him to?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego declared before entering the furnace that even if God didn’t save their physical lives they would obey Him. God’s possible inaction in no way implied He was unable. They understood what many of us potentially miss, just because God doesn’t answer the way we expect, doesn’t mean He is not acting.
“If you have a God great enough and powerful enough to be mad at because he doesn’t stop your suffering, you also have a God who’s great enough and powerful enough to have reasons that you can’t understand. You can’t have it both ways (Timothy Keller, King’s Cross).”
*first posted Sept 5th, 2011