Fire Walking has been a test of a person’s mettle for several thousands of years (or so the claim goes). The afore referenced Wikipedia article places it at around 3,215 years old.
Today, many people attend seminars that supposedly help them build confidence by walking across glowing embers. You can find a number of them with this search here.
The first one that showed up on my list (your mileage may vary) (Firewalking Institute of Research and Education) suggests that:
“In just one four-hour seminar, you can discover your inner strength, power and confidence. Journey with us through the fire, and you’ll discover an exhilarating world where anything is possible. You’ll be guided through overcoming your fears, building your inner strength and finally, after a calm and confident walk across the red-hot coals, claiming the life of your dreams on the other side! You will profoundly understand that you can do anything you want.”
This quote is from their Seminars page. Many of the other Self-Help, Motivational, Fire Walking symposiums will tell you the same thing in a very similar fashion, but with different words. They are all here to help you gain confidence and change your life!
I can’t help but wonder though, if any of the gurus that guide these self-help events know about the most impressive Fire Walkers in all of history? That would be my friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You can read the accurate story of their encounter here.
You see my friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not just walk across some glowing embers that someone had spread out on the sand, they were cast, bound, into an oven that was so fiery, and so hot, that it literally consumed those that cast them into it (Daniel 3:22). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego really and truly knew what it meant to walk through the fire.
I also can’t help but wonder if any of these self-help gurus are sensitive to the plights of folks all around them that Walk Through the Fire each and every day? These would be the folks that face life’s most challenging situations head on without any or little support from those around them.
I know such people. A coworker and friend actually. I saw my coworker the other day, as I do most days, and he asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I began to outline a weekend with family and friends spent at a local area theme park where we were looking forward to fun, and shows, and fine dining. But I noticed that he had something much more troublesome on his mind. So I paused and asked him about his plans for the weekend..
And that is when he relayed to me his story, a story he told me that no one else at work had heard yet. My friend told me that for the past year he has been struggling to keep his marriage, and his family intact. His wife has asked him for a divorce and he was facing some very difficult decisions regarding his home, his daughter, and his very future. This weekend, he told me, he was going to have to sit down and have a discussion with his mother and ask to move back in with her. And let me add some more relevancy to the story, my friend is an older gentleman and I gather his daughter is college/career age and we are talking an impact of a marriage that spanned decades coming to an end.
My friend is Walking Though the Fire right now. And he is walking through fire that is hotter, and more trying, and more damaging than anything the Firewalking Institute of Research and Education would ever have him walk through (or across, as the case may be). He is walking through life changing, life impacting, and life scarring fire. Fire that will try his faith and his very foundations in life.
So regular readers of this blog may ask the question, what exactly is your friends life foundations? Well, he is a Theist. He believes in God. He gave his life to Jesus Christ some 44 years ago. And he has grown in the Lord over those years and today serves as a Deacon in his church. He was raised in a Christian home, and I believe (based upon his active Church life) that he attempted to establish his home as such as well.
And yet God is allowing him to Walk Through the Fire. Why? Why does God allow His children to encounter some of the deepest, darkest, and most trying times in life? I believe there are several reasons, but one very compelling reason is that when standing before the Judgment Seat of God, no one will be able to claim that God favored those whom he loved in such a way as to provide them an unfair advantage in their path to seek him out. As in the case of Job of old, God says to Satan (or anyone else who will listen) “Have you considered my servant …”?
God has allowed people to Walk Though the Fire since the beginning of time. God did not take away the fire walk from Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego, rather he allowed them to pass though it to show that he was God. And what was their response? It is found in Daniel 3:16-18. GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US! They knew that God could deliver them. BUT (and that is a very important but), If he does not, WE STILL WILL NOT BOW DOWN. Rock solid Faith. Even when faced with the fire, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood on their Faith in God, no matter what.
Every time I begin to think my life is not as good as it could be, I come across a friend or a coworker, who shows me what it is really like to Walk Through the Fire all the while keeping their Faith.
If you are Walking Through the Fire today (like my friend and coworker), I pray God’s Peace, and His Mercy, and His Love, and His Grace would touch you in such a way that you would have to know you have been touched by the hand of God. And I pray that God would carry you safely to the other side. BUT, If he does not, I pray that like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego you would KNOW that he still is God.