We’ve had a bit of rain this month. Okay, a lot of rain. We’ve had some form of rain every day for the past three weeks straight, and the forecast looks like rain for the rest of the month at least. Flash flood warnings are issued on a regular basis. My boys have had rescheduled baseball games canceled. The last time they had an actual game was over two weeks ago. School was dismissed early twice in one week for potential flooding, and this morning we have a two hour delay. It’s been crazy. I’ve never seen a May quite like this. And with all this rain, it’s hard not to get depressed. I feel cooped up, and the skies are usually overcast and grey. Not exactly the weather to keep one’s spirits high. But the other day I discovered something that gave me hope.
Last week one of our lessons for the children’s Bible story time during day camp was the Fiery Furnace. You know the story well—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue, a “crime” which was punishable by death in a fiery furnace. So the three were bound and thrown into the furnace, but God saved them by sending “the angel of the Lord” into their midst, so that not one of their hairs was singed. It’s a wonderful account, one that most of us learned in Sunday school, but this time around what struck me the most about it was the response the three friends gave to the king before they were thrown into the fire. “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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” (Daniel 3:16-18, italics mine).