God’s timetable is not always our time table. And that is hard.
For the last couple of month’s me and my lovely wife have been praying and seeking God for our own home. It has been one of the most difficult seasons in our lives. But it has also taught us some of the deepest spiritual truths.
In the blog below, my wife – Natalie Nieves, eloquently captures our story. Besides being an amazing writer, it’s also a great reminder for those of us who are trusting God with our deepest desires. I pray you enjoy.
“But even if he does not, we want you to know…that we will not…” (Daniel 3:18, NIV)
Surely we were being “punk’d”. My husband and I were out this past weekend looking at homes once again, and at a certain point I was positive cameramen would come jumping out from behind the nicely manicured bushes, shouting, “You’ve just been punk’d!”
I looked around certain I would find a filming crew but, unfortunately, the only thing in the bushes was a water hose.
If you read my blog post, “Do You Not See It?”, you’re probably tilting your head asking yourself, Why are they searching for homes again?
Yes, you guessed right, the deal we thought would make us homeowners fell through.
We penned our John Hancock’s on legal contracts, and yet, for reasons beyond our control, the deal came to naught.
Along with the sale falling flat, so did our dreams of settling and creating memories in what we dubbed “The White House.”
All of my HGTV-inspired ideas went up in smoke.
Design concepts including white subway tiles, charcoal colored bathroom floor tiles, freshly stained wood flooring, and the beautiful, serene light gray paint swatches all fizzled away.
It must be a bad joke. But, sadly, it wasn’t.
There we were again on a hunt for a precious abode.
My husband, our dear realtor, and many of our friends all believed “The White House” was unquestionably ours. We had no doubt God would provide that home for us. And, yet, He chose not to.
So, what now?
What do we do when God chooses not to? When He chooses not to ____________?(You can fill in the blank).
One morning last week, as I had my quiet time with the Lord, a passage from the Bible challenged me to my core to trust God even when He chooses not to do something I am believing Him for.
In the book of Daniel, chapter three, we read of a story about three young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were Jews living in Babylon under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Now, the chapter opens up explaining that King Nebuchadnezzar decided to build an image of gold and declared that “Nations and peoples of every language” had to “…fall down and worship the image…” (v.4-5). Whoever did not fall down and worship the image would “…immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace” (v.6).
Could you imagine the severe consequence of disobeying this decree? But, because Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego were God-fearing Jews they resolved not to bow down and worship the hand made idol. The one true God, Jehovah, would be the only one to gain such adoration from them, despite their chances of facing the fiery furnace.
The Bible tells us that a certain group of astrologers took note of the young men’s actions and reported back to the king.
“Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, 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 notserve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:13-18, NIV).
Did you catch their bold response?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego boldly announced they had no reason to defend themselves before the king! They did not have to defend their faith!
If that wasn’t audacious enough, they go on to proclaim that if they are in fact thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom they serve would be able to deliver them from the flames.
What they declare next infused me with unshakeable faith…
“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…” (emphasis mine).
These men steadfastly proclaimed: Even if our God does NOT do what we are trusting in Him to do, we want you to know King that we will NOT bow down!
They dug their heels in the sand and firmly professed that even if God did NOT come through for them, they would NOT give up and give in!
Oh how the enemy quickly began with his taunts the minute our home purchase floundered.
God did not deliver.
God did not bless.
God did not provide.
God did not come through.
God did not answer your prayers.
Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
Like Eve, I was faced with the haunting question – Did God really say?
Did God really say He was going to open up a door for you and your family?
It’s so tempting to exchange the truth of God for lies.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have easily traded in their TRUE God for a Lie. But planted firmly, they resolved to put their hope and trust in their God.
Their unwavering firmness has stirred faith in my heart like never before.
A faith to stand up and declare to the enemy:
Even if God does not, I will NOT bow down to hopelessness.
Even if God does not, I will NOT bow down to anxiety.
Even if God does not, I will NOT bow down to unbelief.
Even if God does not, I will NOT bow down to resentment.
Even if God does not, I will NOT bow down to depression.
So, what do you do when God chooses not to? When He chooses not to ____________?(You can fill in the blank).
Perhaps you received a cordially composed e-mail from Human Resources stating that the position you interviewed for was filled.
Maybe the application response letter you anticipated from the college of your dreams arrived in a regular letter-sized envelope instead of a large manila envelope.
Or, once again, you’re staring at only one blue line on the plastic white stick instead of two blue lines.
Or, instead of an engagement ring, you get the “we’ll be better off as friends” speech.
If everything around you is contradictory to the things you have been trusting God for, I want to encourage you – Even if God does not, Do NOT Bow! Do NOT Give Up! Do NOTGive In!
Be Strong in the Lord!
Stand Firmly and See His Deliverance!
If you continue to read Daniel chapter 3, you will realize that God did in fact save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were thrown into the blazing furnace, but their God delivered them and rescued them! The bible says that they did not even smell like smoke!
God is a good Father, and He will come through for me and for you!