"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 hands, 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." ~Daniel 3:17-18
There I was, garbed in my attempt to meet the standards of the requisite corporate attire as told to me before the interview, sitting in front of four distinguished lawyer-directors in that side of government. The conversation went well; my confidence level and positivity were up to the highest ante, my confidence in my self quite high. Everything went well except for one bluff that I uttered, triggering a series of difficult questions in the process. I did promise myself that whatever happens, I will never use any bluffing statement but there I was, speaking those words even before I could properly think.
Though I made quite a blunder, the interviewees were quite kind. But my heart was already heavy with remorse, frustration, depression, and disappointment. How could I have done that? How could I have committed such serious mistakes in one of the most important interviews in my life?
The typical defeated me cried, complained, and sulked. I was hot-headed, hating myself and hating the world even more. I questioned my King. How could have He just abandoned me like that? I felt sad and hopeless and my sinful stubborn self wanted to wallow in self-pity.
But my Lord is faithful even if, at times, I am not. I know that as a Christian, I should have taken a more pro-active role in combating sin and the temptation to sin. I am just extremely thankful that I can rely on my King to save me in the most distressful moments.
Through a book and a friend, God rebuked my initial reaction and reminded me of who I was not and who He really is.
I am not perfect. I am bound to fail. I am not worthy. I am a sinner. Given the circumstances, I cannot do anything to make myself in a better position. But He is my Lord and King. He saves. He redeems. He is sovereign and in control of all things. His love is everlasting and He has my best interests in His big heart. He is the only One who can transform the most depressing situation to a beautiful one.
But even if He does not, who am I to protest? Does the creation have the right to question her Creator? Weren’t there too many times that He did not give me what I wanted, instead He gave me His best plan and everything went well? Weren’t there a lot of times that He humbled me down with His plans, as if to tell me, My child, My thoughts are not your thoughts; My ways not your ways?
So, I remember. I remember the time that He almost ruined (based on my own worldly standards) my plans of having a smooth, hassle-free, and luxurious pre-Bar review by bringing in the circumstance of my mom’s brain aneurysm a day after my graduation. I spent almost a month living, eating, drinking, and inhaling the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital. But He was always there—providing, comforting, gently loving. And everything went well. My mom is, by His grace, back to her normal lifestyle, working in her current job.
I remember those tough times at my non-airconditioned dormitory during the pre-Bar review, with all its inconveniences. But I was contented because He was always there, His new mercies abounding every morning. I remember the fact that I did not have much time to focus and study during my Pre-Bar review but He delivered me during the four Sundays of the Bar Exams. Most of all, He allowed me to pass, despite the slim chance I had, considering my circumstances by human standards.
I remember. And I resolve. I remember more and I resolve harder. I resolve to praise my King in times of abundance and want, sickness and health, successes and failures. I resolve to praise and honor Him even if He does not do what I expect Him to.
My favorite Bible story of all times since I became a Christian and gave my life to Jesus Christ is found in the Old Testament account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—all friends of Daniel—defying the King’s orders to bow down to another god and standing firm to their faith to the one true God. Sure, there are similar stories recorded in the Bible when it comes to defending the faith, but what sets this story apart for me is what the three friends said: But even if He does not…we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
The three friends were fully aware of who their God is and what He is capable of doing. They knew fully well that their God can save them from the fiery furnace. They knew and they believed that God is able to deliver them from harm and keep His promises. But even if God did not, they had so much peace in their hearts to honor and please Him even in their last breaths.
So I pray that by His Spirit within me, my Savior and King—Jesus Christ—will enable me to be just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I confidently hope and pray that by His sustaining grace, I will continue to honor Him and please Him with everything that I do, say, feel, or act, whatever circumstances I am in.
And I rejoice because I know that I have a great King whom I can trust.