For different reasons, we're all in the crucible. We're walking through a season of intensive refinement, punctuated with celebrations and miracles. We wonder and ask, what is God doing? Where is He? And when it hurts the most, we beg for His deliverance. We struggle to open our hands and our hearts to Him even as we question His presence and purposes in this place. We cry out for Him to show us what He intends for our lives.
And then we are challenged to ask: What if, instead of pleading His intervention, we acknowledge His presence and thank Him for these crucible moments? What if, instead of asking Him to deliver us from this place, we ask Him to deliver us in this place?
None of us knows the answer, but it is clear He has given us each other to lean in on and walk with. Our tears and prayers and questions spill together. We can each find a reason we don't quite belong, but we know all the same that He brought us together for a purpose that as of now, remains hidden in Him.
This is us, walking through it together. This is us, sojourning through a land where the line between faith and crazy is sometimes imperceptible. Reach out in the dark, and you will find the hand of a friend.
Sometimes we stand and wait, trusting that our seeming stillness somehow amounts to best honoring and serving our King. And sometimes we have the chance to open our windows so everyone can see and to say: Even if He does not show up, I will not bend my knee to another.
Dedicated to the glory of God and for the purposes of His kingdom.
When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide, "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts: who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and wait."
John Milton, On His Blindness (emphasis ours)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O 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 save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."