I am in Kansas (and sometimes Missouri) visiting my husband. As I was driving to my hotel yesterday, I was looking at all the perfectly manicured fields of crops. I was thinking that we’ve come a long way since the days of Little House on the Prayer when one man and a horse would plow a field. Now we have tractors with GPS designed to make sure that farmers can get the maximum amount of usage out of their fields as possible. The GPS directs the tractor and the farmer gets to sit in the sometimes-air conditioned cab checking Facebook or Pinterest (that’d be me), while the tractor practically drives itself. It is a model of efficiency. Albeit an expensive model. Any farmer will tell you that the equipment that comes with being a “for-profit” farmer (and I use that term fairly loosely) is quite expensive. That got me to thinking: what would I be willing to pay for someone to sit on high and direct my life so that I got the maximum amount of use out of it and precious little wasted space, all my rows would be plowed straight, and all I had to do is sit back and take direction. It seems it’d be priceless. Then, it occurred to me: I already have it. I just forget to turn it on.
How many times, as Christians, do we – as adopted sons and daughters, having access to all the power given to Christ – forget to appropriate that power as we go about our daily lives. All we have to do is go to God in prayer. And yet…we choose to see if we can do it on our own, and wonder why we live so much of our lives frustrated!
Today, as I was on my way to visit my husband, a song came on the radio I’ve never heard before. It’s called “Say Amen” by a group called Finding Favour (go check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRcvcF_0_9M). There’s a line in the song: Anybody here who’s walked through the fire – say Amen. It’s referencing the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace in the book of Daniel.
I remember when the ladies in our church did the Precepts Bible Study by Kay Arthur on the book of Daniel. When we did the chapter that covered this story, my family was still in the early stages of our current ordeal (we had not even been to trial yet). Anyway…I remember thinking, at that time, that we were sitting in the fire, and I was starting to feel scorched. HA! We were getting closer to the furnace, and it was hot. That’s for certain! We had not been thrown in yet.
Then, for the first year Rabbit was gone, I thought, for sure, that I was going to be consumed in the flames. Surely, it was just a matter of time. But, day after day, I got a little stronger, a little more determined, and started looking around, noticing that I was not burning up. I was no less mad about being in the fire, or at the insane miscarriage of justice that landed us there, but I was not burning up. Yeah…it’s hot. I’ve sweated plenty. But I’ve not been consumed. My family has not been consumed. My husband has not been consumed. Our spirits have not been quenched. Instead, we have been made to see that hat Satan really wants is to destroy the family. Our family. He hates the family. And he knows that if he can destroy the family then he will have effectively destroyed the church!
This whole time I’ve been thinking that we’ve been making it because we are just too stubborn to quit. And while I think that’s partially true, it’s not the whole truth. As my mom once told me, you can break a stubborn horse. But a strong-spirited horse will never be broken. It may appear broken for a bit, but it is merely waiting for the chance to break free!
I’ve been using the word surreal to describe how it feels to be walking through this and not feel like I’m falling apart. That’s not the right word. Supernatural is a better word.
There are marriages and families falling apart every day, and even more than normal amounts for inmates. Why should it be that our family has not only NOT fallen apart, but is easily as strong as before in most ways, and EVEN STRONGER in others if not for divine intervention, if not for the Grace and mercy of a Heavenly Father, and His Son standing in the fiery furnace with us?! It just doesn’t happen?! It’s just not logical.
Those are just a couple of the things that occurred to me over this last week that I thought I would share with you.
I don’t have all the answers to my own stuff, so I could not dream of giving you answers. But what I can tell you is who does. Turn on your GPS, folks. Let God’s Position System direct you in the path you should go. Even if it means you end up walking toward and into a fiery furnace. As the saying goes, “If He leads you to it, He’ll lead you through it.” But the best thing about God is that He goes before you, preparing the way. If you are in the furnace, trust that God was there before you, beckoning to you, asking you to endure the refiner’s fire, so that you can come even closer to bearing the image of your Creator. He wants to burn off all the impurities in you so that He can see His reflection in you! For that kind of work, He has to be right up there, at the furnace, turning you over and over in his hands, pulling you out, checking on you, looking to see if all the dross has burned off yet. If not, he’ll put you back. But not forever. But…hot or not, He’s still there.
Anyway…that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you had a good weekend. Talk to you tomorrow!