Have you walked through fire lately? Hot, isn’t it? No fun. Never has been. Never will be.

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time in the book of Daniel and most of us know that story. Remember? Dan’s three buddies are thrown into the furnace by King Nebbie’s hench men…who, by the way, burn up when they toss the bound men into the fiery pit. King Neb stands near to supervise and sees four figures in the flames. Shad, Mesh, and Abed are brought out of the furnace and…surprise!…they not only aren’t burned, they don’t even smell like smoke.

Beth Moore says when people of God face a fiery trial they are either delivered from the fire, delivered through the fire, or delivered by the fire into His arms. Can I hear an “Amen!”?

We all face fires. The Tiede family is facing a bit of a scorcher right now, which is why there were so few blogs in January. My heart is being squeezed as I pray for several women who are also in the furnace; Jen, who had a double mastectomy recently and whose prognosis is not what we’d all hoped and prayed for…Suzie, whose 2 year old is still struggling and whose husband was in the mo-ped accident. He will be in a rehab. center for nearly 4 weeks and they have no short term disability…for Heidi who is possibly facing a recurrence of Wegener’s disease…a very painful and dibilitating illness…for a homeschool family who recently gave birth to a baby boy with Down Syndrome. (I know first hand the blessing this child will be to the family, but they are still in a difficult place right now.) Fires. Hot spots. Painful.

We are never alone in the fire. There is always that fourth figure. Me and “the three”…the trinity, that is.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

In college I used to spout the motto, “That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I didn’t really know what that meant in a spiritual sense. I do now. God can extinguish your fire, but He may choose not to. Walking through fire can and will refine you into a beautiful and useful vessel that carries God’s grace lessons to a world in need of His truth.