04 October 2011
even if He doesn't.
it's one of those days where he's howling mad (this time at having lost his borrow-a-movie-from-the-library privileges) and he seethes along the walking path with a screech that liquefies my eardrums and leaves me soul-weary and spent.
but the cornstalks rattle bronze under a sky so clean it makes me ache for eternity, and the wind rushes and whispers peace till there's nothing else for it
and so i sing.
the brilliant thing about singing next to a screaming five year old is that i can belt it out as off-key as i'd like and no one is any wiser.
i work through hymns and some hillsong, matt papa, shane&shane, and then i get to a song that says this:
if You call us to the fire
You will not withdraw Your hand
we'll gaze into the flames and look for You
and it's referencing of course Daniel 3, and that trio of guys with funky names (my shack, your shack, and a bungalow) who refused to worship anyone but God. the king commissions this mammoth golden statue and assembles the people and commands everyone to bow to his image when the music sounds. and these three guys, they're captives but have worked their way into league with the bigwigs, and i'm pretty sure they know they're not dealing with the most stable despot here. but still, they won't worship the statue. and you know the rest, i'm sure. i would've demoted them, maybe hiked their taxes and plundered their cattle, but this king gives them a choice: either bow or get pitched into a fire so intense it melts your brain off just thinking about it.
and they come back with this, more or less: 'o king, we're not ultimately accountable to you, we answer to God. He can save us from your crazy-hot furnace.'
and then my favorite part: but even if He doesn't.
'but even if He doesn't, we refuse to worship anyone but Him.'
and the rest of the story is fantastic and God shows up in the fire with them and they come out untouched and His glory is made known.
and here's what i'm thinking as i'm singing and holding the unwilling hand of my flailing boy: that all along i've fully expected that we'll work through these tough spots and come out in love. i still do. we enlarged our family out of love for God and people, and i anticipate He'll work a boatload of miracles here.
but here's the other thing i'm thinking: God doesn't always show up in the way or the time frame i'm desperate for.
and even if He doesn't, even if things never get easier, even if we spiral dark and down for the next sixty years, i still choose this boy. i still choose this God. i still choose to obey.
and He'll walk with me in death valley, He'll keep me company in the flames, and His glory will be made known. good enough for me.