Daniel 3:16 ” the God we serve can rescue us…”
“Can” doesn’t mean “will.”
One week ago I was in yet another valley. Grief sucks. It is what it is and that is part of the journey. It doesn’t mean I don’t have faith, it means I’m human, and my heavenly Dad wouldn’t want it any other way. He didn’t create Adam and Eve the robots, commanded at will, He created Adam and Eve, the individuals, with their own will. They could choose to follow and love Him, or they could choose not to, the same as we do today.
Today in church Taylor and I kept looking at each other. I would almost swear that man has our house bugged. The title of the message: Courage…In the Fire! Pastor Dave started the message saying he doesn’t have any ink on himself, nor does he have any plans to, but if he did this is what it would read:”the God we serve is able.” It is the same verse as above, just a different version.
He again made the statement, not said by optimists but by realists,”Everyone is either coming out, going into, or is in the middle of a trial.” This is more than likely true. Everyone has trials, Pastor Dave explained that there will be fires, no one gets a pass. The next question on the outline asked,”My fire is _______________.” Ouch.
Do you know what YOUR fire is? Follow up question (I had to take a breath), where do I feel a sense of injustice? Where do I feel trapped and hopeless?
Whatever my fire…whatever yours…Pastor Dave said, “I can’t get to where God is trying to take me, without going through.” Do you need an example? Joseph’s path to the palace was through the prison. Do you feel like you’re in a prison? Me? BINGO!
Then home. Taylor and I were feeling pretty beat up and all we wanted to do was disappear into someone else’s world. Before Archie died we always said watching TV was watching other people live their lives instead of taking the initiative to live their own.
We made homemade pizza for the first time since Archie went home, changed into jammies, then jumped into the life of Chief Brenda Lee Johnson. The comment that jumped out, screaming at the top of it’s lungs (if it had lungs), “Meaning isn’t something you find, it’s something you give.”
How does that tie in?
My fire is constantly burning. Sometimes it’s embers, then it blazes again and the heat radiates. Just like the the soldiers that died throwing Me-Shac, Rad Shac, and Bennie into the fiery furnace, the emanating swelter is destroying one of the things I value the most: my testimony.
Do you ever do that?
I have triggers, one imparticular. Every time I face them/it, it’s instant ugly. In this fire of mine, the injustice, hopelessness, and trapped feelings are just that: feelings. My feelings may be real, but that does not give me the right to act on them. Unfortunately, I react negatively to my trigger first (I hate that) then apologize. The hardest thing is not the apology, it’s forgiving myself for not holding it together.
That’s where, “Meaning isn’t something you find, it’s something you give,” comes in. There in no reason/meaning I am going to “find” that is going to bring Archie back. God was able/could have healed Archie, but He choose not to.
Where the “giving” comes in is when moving through the fire. Shad, Me-Shac, and Bennie weren’t alone…and neither am I. I need to remember I am not in the furnace by myself but I continue trying to rely on myself (and failing miserable). How do I keep my mind from dwelling on my trigger? How do I keep from focusing on the flames, although I know that my heavenly Dad’s son is glowing right beside me? What could I possibly give? Who would want what I have to offer?
That has been my journey this week. I fought…and lost…against the battle of my trigger. I have been reminded I still have value, something to give. I am just not sure what it is and where to give it.
I know the One who does. He, unlike me, never fails and can be counted on to be HIS best, every minute of everyday. No valleys-ever.