The other day I wrote about how we are attempting to teach our kids with the phrase "I Don't Prefer This" during dinner as a polite alternative to "Yuck, I don't like that!"
Last night, I made noodles with chicken and vegetables and again, my little 5 year old tried to say "I don't prefer this" to opt out of the meal. It is super cute when she tries to say it. Of course, I want her to eat it because vegetables and chicken are good for her and help her grow. I try to tell them "I would not give you anything bad, trust me." However, it doesn't always suit their taste buds.
Today, I want to continue with a different application. God has been stirring this message in my heart all weekend.
There are situations, circumstances, events, occurrences, annoyances, that happen every day. Many times they are small. Sometimes they are big. They all require God if we are to walk through victoriously, and thankfully He is always bigger than any of it.
A list of some things we may be dealing with that we would prefer not to have to deal with could include:
An issue with our children
A problem in a marriage or marriage crisis
A difficult relationship
A challenging boss
A strenuous work environment
Health issues or physical challenges
A crucial decision
And the list could go on.....
I don't know what you are dealing with that may cause you to want to cry and say, "I don't prefer this, God".
God always answers prayers, but sometimes He doesn't remove a difficult situation right away. Why is that? Sometimes we have to walk through the situation until He delivers us.
In Daniel 3, we find the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. (Notice these names are not in any baby name books!) They did everything right, yet they were thrown into the fiery furnace. I am sure they were hoping God would deliver them before they had to go into the fire. However, they were certain that He would deliver them.
"Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King." Dan 3: 17
Do you hear their certainty? Do you hear their faith? "He will".
It doesn't take much faith to believe, "God can", (of course He can), but faith believes that "God will."
Faith is the expectation of a positive outcome. It is believing God will do what He has promised.
How does this apply to "I don't prefer this" circumstances? Shadrack, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were delivered, but they did have to walk through the fire. Sometimes, we have to walk through situations we would rather avoid. The result of them walking through the fiery inferno....the king saw the Lord. Literally! It says in verse 25:
"'Look!' he answered, ' I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.'"
The fourth person in the fire may have actually been Jesus!
As a result of their obedience and trust in the Lord in a "I don't prefer this" moment, God was glorified.
Like mentioned above, our kids may not prefer to eat vegetables and chicken, but we know that it will help them grow and get stronger. The circumstances we do not prefer have the capacity to help us grow and make us stronger in our faith.
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:7
This is kind of an "ouch" verse. We don't like to hear that God may use trials to refine our faith. However, that is what it is saying.
So the question really is how will we respond when trials come? Will we choose to trust? Will we believe that our God will deliver us? I pray we would hold onto that fourth person in the fire with us. He is always with us.
The good news and how the story ends....
"Then Shadrach, Meschack, and Adeb-Nego came from the midst of the fire....and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them." Dan 3:26-27
He promises when we walk through what we do not prefer while trusting in Him, that the fire will have no power over us! We will come out of it not even smelling like smoke!
God may deliver you quickly, but if not quickly, He will deliver you.
If you do end up having to walk through something you do not prefer, remember, Jesus is there with you. He will never give you anything bad, trust Him. It may not taste good at the time, but it is always good for you even if it doesn't suit your taste buds. He never leaves you. He never forsakes you. If you have to walk through, it is for a higher purpose, so that your faith may result in the praise, honor and glory of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Trust Him.