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But even if He doesn’t

07/06/2010

So, life has been crazy since we made our announcement about Zoe! You have loved us through so much of our journey, and we have needed it. I’m going to try to do better at updating, even if it’s just a quick word, and that’s it. But today is not one of those.

A couple of weeks ago, we were able to take stuCo back to Jackson, TN for Centrifuge. This is the second year that we’ve experienced Fuge at Union University, the 6th year Hillary and I have been, the 12th year I’ve been going to camp, and the 17th year Hillary has gone! That’s a lot of church camp!

This year, I was in a very different place than I ever have been in my life. So much uncertainty about my family and even my own spiritual life. When we found out the theme for the week was “Kairos – Defining Moments” I decided then that I would wrestle with God this week, and that I wouldn’t let go until He blessed me. I had no idea what He was going to do.

Although each day affected me, one in particular struck a cord with quite a few others as well. It started with the story of three Hebrew boys who refused to bow down, even one time, to an idol.  If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve probably heard the story. Basically, the King swears to kill them by throwing them into a furnace if they don’t bow the way He is to the idol. Obviously they refuse, but they’re saved in the end (sorry to ruin it if you didn’t know!). But the story has some details that get lost, and I think what God is teaching us gets lost with it as well. I think that there is something huge here that we miss.  Something that has completely changed the way I look at why I serve Christ.  Look at their reply to the King as he gives them one last chance before he has them thrown into the fire in Daniel 3:15.

“I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.

Did you get that? Can we even comprehend that kind of faith? To say that they won’t even consider it. Such confidence; such clarity; such resolve.

Wouldn’t we at least consider it? Surely God would rather me make one mistake, so that I can continue His work, right? God would rather me be alive, be safe, instead of end the opportunity that He has with my life. I wouldn’t really mean it. I would just do like everybody else right now, so I can have more influence on their lives later. Surely God doesn’t really mind this one time.

Yet these guys wouldn’t even consider it. They explain to the King how their powerful God can save them if He wants, but the revolutionary statement they make has changed my outlook on everything.

“But even if He doesn’t…”

I have plans. I have things that I hope happen.  I have back up plans even, for just in case the first one can’t work out. I have what I want for my kids, for my family. My plans include a lot of things for our church and student ministry. I already am prepared for God to do these things.

But sometimes He doesn’t want to work with my plans. As a matter of fact, I’d say He wants nothing to do with my plans. Because they’re just that; my plans. I want my daughter to be able to run across the yard and into my arms. I want her to go to college and get married, and have children of her own. Faith may be able, and Zoe may be able. God may do those very things in their lives.

“But even if He doesn’t…”

I don’t want to find my trust in what my plans hold, because my plans will fail.  I don’t even want to put my trust in hopes, or what I think I can handle.  I want to boldly, and honestly say “My God can manipulate my life into what I can see it being, but even if He doesn’t, I’m still in this.” I want to refuse to make justifications, or have explanations for everything. I want to beg to be burned up in a furnace that purifies my life from excuses and compromise, so that people see that Christ has not only led me into it, but He’s along side me the whole way.

I mentioned this on Sunday at MCC when I spoke to our church, and since then I have gotten so many messages from many of you about where you need to make this same claim to.

“I haven’t had a job in over a year, and I have something that I’m praying works out…”

“I was hoping that God would lead me to a college this summer…”

“I want my friend to come to Christ more than anything…”

“I just wish God would make the pain of losing my son go away…”

“I want to see God heal my daughter, and for her to run and be completely healthy…”

“But even if He doesn’t…”

Now it’s your turn. Where can you say “But even if He doesn’t” to today?

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From → blog, church, Faith, Family, stuCo, Zoe

2 Comments
  1. John, I think we all need to say this in so many areas of our lives. We all make plans, have hopes and dreams, and I think sometimes we forget that’s all they are, our plans. Have we consulted with the one who gave us Life? Do we know His plans?

    He says He gives us the desires of our hearts. When we’re in a relationship with Him He gives us glimpses of His heart, and His desires become our desires too. But, we’re all human and we tend to think that sometimes it goes the other way around. 🙂

    For the most part, I am a very content person. But, there are things, like having another child, that I would like to see happen. In these instances I need to learn to say Even if He doesn’t… I’m still in this.

  2. Gina Duncan permalink

    What can I say but, “AMEN!”

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