“But Lord, this was not the plan. Weren’t you paying attention as I planned this all out. In fact, none of this seems to make sense, and I am 100% sure my way would have been much less painless!”
Sound familiar? I have had this conversation with God more times than I can count. I fully believe that God is an all-knowing, all-powerful God; but to be very honest, it is still so hard to trust that His plan for my life is better than mine.
It is in the moments of great stress, confusion, pain, and uncertainty, that I cry out to the Lord asking why He chose this plan instead of mine. Maybe you have been there before; maybe you are there right now. If so, read on!
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego is one you have probably heard before. It is found in Daniel chapter three and is the story of three Israelite men who refused to worship an idol set up by the most powerful king in the world. When this incredibly powerful and incredibly wicked King threatened to throw these men into a fiery furnace, they responded to him by saying,
O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. Daniel 3:16-18
Did you catch it? “But even if He does not…” What a powerful statement! I’m sure they thought of countless ways God could save them that did not involve getting thrown into a fire. However, as these men were being carried into the mouth of the furnace, which certainly was not their “plan A,” they demonstrated a most amazing trust that God’s plan was in fact better than any man’s.
This seems backward doesn’t it! But for many of us, this is the reality of our lives. We have followed God, yet we still feel as though we have been thrown into the fire. Let me encourage you, that though God may not have chosen to follow your plan, His is so much better! You see, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego does not end with them in the fire and neither does yours! In the remaining verses of Daniel chapter three, we are told that even in the midst of the furnace, God was with the men. When they were called to come out of the furnace, they were found to be completely unharmed and not even smelling of smoke. They were completely delivered and more than that, they were used to change the heart of the most powerful king in the world. King Nebuchadnezzar himself declared, “…there is no other God who can deliver like this” (Daniel 3:29b).
If you find yourself in the midst of the fire, uncertain of why God has chosen a plan very different from your own, may you be encouraged by the truth that God is with you, He is able to deliver, and He is working to bring others to Himself. May we live today with the faithfulness of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego trusting that God’s plan is better!
About the Writer:
Kate has a heart for helping girls come to know and build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She is also contributor to Lifeway Girls Ministry resources.