My kids are really into story telling these days. I confess I am not great at thinking up off-the-cuff literary adventures so I usually fall back on stories I remember hearing as a kid. Bible stories are great because a lot of cool stuff happened to people in the Bible.
We are still making our way around the city by tuk tuk and since Chad was teaching this morning at the Bible college, I decided to take the children, yes all four, out with me as I ran errands.
Aside from the regular incredulous remarks of buon, buon (four, four), the tuk tuk also provides a good time to tell stories and no sooner were we on our way than they chimed in chorus “Tell us a story”.
We started with David and when I had run out of stories to tell about him (it takes a really long time to get anywhere in Phnom Penh!) and the kids were still begging for a story, I remembered I had always enjoyed the story of the fiery furnace as a kid. Ok, mostly I just like saying Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego – but who doesn’t? There’s something about the way it rolls off the tongue but I digress and there is a point to this post which I will get to now.
As I was telling the story, I got to the part where Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego were going to be thrown into the fiery furnace and I paused. The bible says these men were young but they did not hesitate when faced with what to do about bowing before a God not their own. “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
These three young guys refused to follow a king’s command even when they knew it meant imminent death. Now that is faith I admire! But more than that, I admire how they didn’t require things to go their way. “Even if he does not”. Even if God did not rescue them, did not vindicate them….they would still hold strong to their faith. We are in an age of answers and proof. If you can’t show it to me, then it doesn’t exist. But these three; they didn’t require proof. They didn’t require God to show Himself all-powerful. They simply believed regardless of the outcome. Critics would call that blind faith. I call it heroism. To believe in something so completely that you don’t need to have all the answers; that is a true feat.