Last year, about this time, when I realized I was entering into the end-game of a controversy I was involved in, I clung to Bible texts that promised to see me through the struggle. In those stories, and their retelling, we always hear about those who came out well on the other-side, but our teachers rarely tell us about those who didn’t survive their, um, “encounters.”
So, I was left a little confused last Fall when I found myself without a job and burning through savings and a very real possibility of losing our house – the home we believe God provided for us. Confused, mystified, and more than a little demoralized – I was just trying to put it all into focus.
Passing The Test yesterday, left me more than a little exhausted – it left me feeling strangely empowered. It was a strange feeling because I haven’t felt it in a couple of years.
Then I remembered Job’s story, and Joseph’s – neither of their stories were short and both were painful. In addition, of the hundreds of stories, not all of them turned out well, and most were quite painful. While I always knew this intellectually, it really settled in over the last few days. While the boys in the Fiery Furnace went in willingly, didn’t complain, and came out without even a hint of smoke in their clothes, Jacob ended life with a limp, Job was left with deep scars on his heart, and Jeremiah was sawed in half.
Some will tell you that “the safest place on Earth is in the center of God’s will.” Don’t believe that for a moment. Ultimately, it is the most peaceful place to be, but as far as life on this Earth is concerned, it certainly isn’t “safe.”
Overall, as we begin to emerge from this Fiery Furnace (and don’t get me wrong, it ain’t over!), I know we’ll be OK.