I “But even if He does not”

My husband, his cousin and I did something crazy last year. We took 4 children to Disney World by ourselves! Did I mention all but one of these children were under the age of 3…. a trip to Walmart would be dumb enough…. a trip to Disney… clearly we are crazy! We were out numbered. I think for Disney World, you should double the adult to child ratio, especially if those children are preschool age!
Anyway after a long exhausting drive to Orlando and luging all our luggage in to our hotel room, we threw the children and three strollers on the bus and made our way to “the happiest place on earth”. We stepped off the bus, pushed our way through the line and finally made our way through the gate. We had arrived!
How do our children thank their tired, worn out parents for bringing them to this “magical” place? By having an all out MELT DOWN! They were acting like those kids that make any non-parents say, “my kids will never act like that”. We didn’t know what to do? Clearly, these children did not realize they were at Disney World?! So we drug them crying and screaming all the way up Main Street. I remember yelling to our cousin, “Hurry, find something fun! We have to show them this is fun!”
Luckily, Disney World helped us out. A parade was turning the corner right as we got close to the castle. The kids stopped crying. The looks on their face seemed to say to me, “Ahhh, my parents were right. They didn’t drag me through the heat, crowds, and confusion just to torture me. This might actually be fun.”
Work with me but this crazy moment somehow makes me thing of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego….
I love the story recorded in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! What triumphant faith and courage! These three respectfully stayed faithful to the Lord under insane pressure and in the face of almost certain death! They faced death by fire because they stayed faithful to the Lord and did not worship an idol. They made big claims as to what the Lord might do.
“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. “- Daniel 3:17
And honestly who would not remain faithful to a god who would definitely save them from the fire?! But the problem is God does as He pleases. And Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not know for sure if God would choose to save them from the fire or not. This is implied in their next statement.
“But even if He does not..”
This is the reality of God that scares me. He is unpredictable by human understanding. I can’t just claim that He will do this or that. He has certain promises in His word but the way He chooses to fulfill those promises is up to His discretion… because He is God.
In my human mind, I get scared and fearful of following Him at times because of this truth. I forget that He is a Father and that He is good. I forget that all though I may not understand, he works all things to the good of those who are called to His purposes. (Romans 8:28)
I could stay trapped here, never moving forward in my ‘faith journey’ because I’m too afraid of what God might or might not allow to happen. But at some point there has to be a choice.
I find myself here again at this point in my life, a fork in the road. The plans I had in my head for the next season in my life are slowly unraveling. I could get mad (not to say I haven’t) and bitter. I could turn to the “idols” in my life and do things my way OR I could say like Shadrach, Meshach and Abedeigo, “BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T”. Even if nothing else goes according to “plans” or nothing else works out as pretty as I want it to, I will still trust Him!
So how in the world does the Disney story connect?

It boils down to trust.
Our kids did not trust that we had brought them through all that confusion and mess for their good and their enjoyment. They thought we were mean parents who just wanted to torture their children (okay, maybe not but I’m just judging from their actions).
Just like the Lord, I think He sometimes has to take us through some confusion and mess for our ultimate good and joy. We don’t realize where we are. We can’t see what is going on.
Maybe He is bringing us through to catch a glimpse of a “parade” or maybe not.
But at some point we have to trust Him. We have to stop fighting. We have to stop having melt downs (okay maybe that’s just me) and trust Him “even if He does not“.
He is good beyond our own perception. He is God. And He is trustworthy.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. 2 Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” 3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 4 But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 6 they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; 7 they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. 8 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. 9 O house of Israel, trust in the LORD– he is their help and shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD– he is their help and shield. 11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD– he is their help and shield. 12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, 13 he will bless those who fear the LORD– small and great alike. 14 May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children. 15 May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. 17 It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to silence; 18 it is we who extol the LORD, both now and forevermore. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 115

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