(Originally posted on Jody’s Daily Devotions, May 4, 2011)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
Chihuahuas are not my favorite breed of dogs. They are ankle-biting, incessantly yipping, little dogs. They think and act like they are Rottweilers, in their own minds. I have seen them keep policemen, mail carriers, and large breed dogs cowering behind fences. They do have sharp teeth so they aren’t all show! “Intimidation” is their game and middle name.
Cancer has the same effect on us. When the word “cancer” follows “diagnosis”, everything else seems to recede into the background and cancer becomes a giant. It’s not really a giant but it sounds like one because “fear” is its bark. Every story we have ever heard – every statistic – becomes a mantra in our heads. But here’s the truth: each one of us is given a race to run (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Hebrews 12:1-3). No two people are given the same race. No two cancers are the same or will respond the same. There’s a reason that medicine is an art, not a science!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thought they had been given a race to run in exile that demanded leadership in the midst of their enemies. They could see how they were to conduct themselves as aliens in this land and remain true to Yahweh. Then it got to the real race. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to stay in the race despite what appeared to be a foregone conclusion.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego understood God. He could save them. He was bigger than any king (or giant) they may face. But saving them might not be God’s plan. Oh, my friends, that is so hard to accept! Remember Indiana Jones and the step of faith we looked at yesterday? Am I willing to take the step of Faith where God tells me? Or am I going to stand there and argue that the step is in the wrong place so He couldn’t really want me to take the step!
Will I worship God from the middle of the fiery furnace? If my race is more about who I run with or encourage along the way, will I see the victory even in death? Or will I think healing is the only God-option?
My friends, I want you to know that our bodies of flesh and blood will decay. This means that they cannot share in God’s kingdom, which lasts forever. I will explain a mystery to you. Not every one of us will die, but we will all be changed. It will happen suddenly, quicker than the blink of an eye. At the sound of the last trumpet the dead will be raised. We will all be changed, so that we will never die again. Our dead and decaying bodies will be changed into bodies that won’t die or decay. The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true,
“Death has lost the battle! Where is its victory? Where is its sting?”
Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!
My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (CEV)
If cancer has raised itself to yip and bite in your family, point your finger at it and tell it to “Shut up!” and go back to hell where it belongs! No matter what tomorrow brings, we will worship and serve only Yahweh!