I was poignantly reminded once again that I am not alone and that God is always with me. This time it was through reading of Madeleine L’Engles’ own trying experience and the Bible story that helped her get through that challenge. The story turned out to sound familiar to me despite my not being raised with the Bible.
It’s the amazing story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three young men refused to bow down to an idol, and King Nebuchadnezzar was so furious that he ordered them to be thrown into a furnace so hot that the soldiers who threw them in were killed by the heat.
But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood there in the flames, unhurt, and sang a song of praise of all creation.
King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and asked, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered, “True, O King.” He replied, “But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt, and the appearance of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
And that, perhaps, is the most astounding part of the whole story. God did not take Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego out of the fiery furnace. God was in the flames with them.
The promise has never been safety, or that bad things would not happen if we were good and virtuous. The promise is only that God is in it with us, no matter what it is.
As I go through my dark times, I can endeavor to remember this Bible story and choose to believe the promise: God is with me always and sees me through all situations.
At this season of light, may I remember that the Light of God shines in me, through me and around me. God is with me always.