By Lisa Huddleston
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Dan. 3:17-18).
All you great expositors out there will just have to skip this week’s article. I’m throwing context out the window and using this verse to serve my own purpose in good old topical sermonizing. But, truly, it’s not my fault. Every time I’ve thought about my daughter’s upcoming surgery, I’ve been reminded of these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and their deep, abiding faith. I know the context is very different. They were facing the fire for not bowing down to idols, and we are facing the unknown of surgery and an unsure diagnosis. But, here is where I keep making the connection. They trusted God for whatever their future would hold. They knew that He was able to rescue them—they just didn’t know if He would. But either way, they were casting their lot with Him.
And that’s where I can’t shake the similarities. Since her diagnosis with a follicular nodule many months ago, I have prayed asking God to remove that growth so that she (and we) wouldn’t have to face the fire of undergoing surgery and the slim possibilities of negative side effects or further surgery. I have known that He is able to heal in a miraculous way, but I haven’t known if He would. And to date, that nasty little nodule is still there. As we approach next Tuesday, I am still asking God to take it away, but I confess that I have my doubts. Odds are that come Tuesday morning, my sweet girl will have to undergo the surgical removal of that nodule and half of her thyroid. And that really makes me mad!
But, that doesn’t change my belief that God is able. I know that He is. I know that God can heal my daughter. It may be through a miracle or it may be through the gifted hands of her Christian surgeon. But I know that He is able, and no matter the outcome, I am thankful that she (and we) are in His hands.
I know that He can. No matter the trial, no matter the fear, no matter the pain, no matter the doubt and skepticism of my logical brain. God is able.
And I know that when my daughter is rolled into the operating room next week—barring a miracle—there will be an extra person there with her just like there was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. One who looks like the Son of God.
And may it be said because of this trial, “Praise be to the God of Sarah, who has sent his angel and rescued his servant!” Amen.
(Photo credit–John Essary)