"But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god." - Daniel 3: 25
If you want to make a difference, you will face some heat. Here's a story about facing the heat.
Three young Hebrews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—while in exile in Babylon, landed jobs in the government of King Nebuchadnezzar.
But there was a problem. The three refused to bow down to their employer's phony, trumped-up, man-made deities. "We will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue you have set up."
Then things got hot, as they are likely to do, if you refuse to kowtow to the reigning local powers and vested interests. King Nebuchadnezzar was so incensed he had the three bound hand and foot and thrown into a super-heated furnace.
But when the King looked into the fire he was astounded to see all three, unbound and walking around. Stranger still, there was now a fourth man in there with them.
Who was the fourth man, exactly? For sure, I don't know.
But here are two things I do know. First, if you are serious about making a difference and about serving our God, you will face some heat. You just will.
And second: facing the heat, you won't be alone. You just won't. You will know the companionship of the living God in a new and deep way.
This doesn't mean that you should go looking for trouble. But it does mean that when trouble finds you, you won't be alone.
Help us to hang in there, Lord, when we are facing the heat. Amen.
Stillspeaking Small Group Discussion
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. He is the author of many books, including What’s Theology Got to Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. You can read Tony's "Weekly Meditation" and "What's Tony Thinking?" at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.