There was another in the fire…
These words meant nothing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do think the story of the fiery furnace is indeed regal, but that is it. The truth from the story never transcended into my everyday life until February 26.
Shadrach Meshach and Abednego stood firm for what they believed in, resulting in them being bound and thrown away into a fiery furnace by the King of Babylon.
King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He asked, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire? “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”
I want to summon your attention to the phrase, walking in the midst of the fire.
Why in any world would someone walk in the furnace? Yes, given that the fire is not harming them in any way, why not just stand around and kill time until the fire dies out? Or why not engage in once in a lifetime opportunity to talk with the God of your fathers?
Instead, they chose to walk with God.
If you know your Old Testament well enough, the last phrase should already bring up a few people into your mind who walked with/before God. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Israel in the wilderness, David, Disciples of Jesus…
“Walking” Supersedes the act of just walking in all these contexts. It implies a lifestyle of dependence on God.
On day 3 of the war, I and Marie, along with our dear friend Diana went out to the city to get a feel of how things were and to buy a few more canned foods and grains before the Russians entered the city. We knew that a siege was days away. The 40-mile-long Russian convoy was already heading towards Kyiv.
As we went to the city, it felt like we were characters in an apocalyptic movie. The city was empty; a handful of people were on the streets. Mostly a couple of Babushkas were also searching for that one extra loaf of bread.
I parked the car; Marie and Diana went looking for groceries. As I stood on those empty streets, I experienced something difficult to explain but something that I will carry to my grave. A feeling that there was another alongside us, walking through those daunting streets with us and before us.
Ironically, like in the story of Shadrach and his friends, we were also three, and I experienced another in the fire we were going through.
Shadrach and co were untouched because of the Fourth, who was like a son of god. We were all untouched because of the presence of the Fourth. We kept walking.
In the garden of Eden, we see God walk in the cool of the day. He planned to walk with Adam and Eve, but they bailed on him. We see the reversal of it in the book of Revelation, where the nations and king will choose to walk in his Light.
Between these two points in time, it is up to individuals to respond to that call to walk with God.
My encouragement to you is that Know that God is there with you, as he promised. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He is there with you in the fire; He is with you as your city looks at a possible siege. He is with you, where you are right now. He is not going to leave you or forsake you. I hope that you don’t leave or forsake him either.