Meeting God in the Furnace
One other thought on this whole furnace business of Daniel 3: Do you ever wonder what they did while they were in there? They were tied up so that they had to be carried to the furnace, but when King Nebuchadnezzar looked in there, they were walking around. And there was a fourth person in there -- probably Jesus.
I wonder what he said to them. I bet he called them by their old names -- the Jewish ones. I wonder if he told them how everyone up in heaven had been watching to see what they were going to do. I wonder if he told them how proud their Father was of them. I wonder if he told them that 2,500 years later some guy on the other side of the world would be writing about them on his blog.
I wonder if they asked him, "What's a blog?"
I wonder if he told them that followers of God who face persecution because of their beliefs would remember them and be encouraged just thinking of their strength of character.
I bet I know what they said to him: "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Anne Lamott says there are really only two kinds of prayer that she really knows: (1) Help me! Help me! Help me! and (2) Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
I wonder if they gathered together on the anniversary of the event, built a little bonfire and remembered their experience together. I wonder if they told their grandkids the story. I wonder if they ever pulled those clothes out and tried them on -- moth-eaten, full of holes and several sizes too small to fit anymore.
I wonder if, when the King called them to come out of the fire, there was any desire to stay right where they were.
And I wonder what life would be like for all of us if we stopped asking God to deliver us from the furnace and started asking him to meet us there.