Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
(Daniel 3:16-18 ESV)
Exactly one year ago I lost my job at Liquid Church. It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming; after all, my title started with the word interim. Regardless, it still hurt. It felt weird and wrong somehow. When I was told that I would be finishing up in two weeks, Pastor Tim was wrapping up a series on the book of Habakkuk. I wasn’t listening at the time, but after exactly one year, God has given me the opportunity to do what my heart yearns to do and to do it full-time.
I honestly don’t know how I continued. I was angry. I was sad. I even fell into depression. I questioned God over and over again. Why had he placed this calling on my life, yet he had given me no avenue to act on my calling?
But I kept serving him in the flawed ways I knew. I cried out to him in song every Sunday, begging him to give me a ministry to call my own.
And then I looked around me and realized that he had given me an avenue to act on my calling. He had given me a ministry. There were so many opportunities he had given me, but in my grief and self-absorption, I was
unable unwilling to see and grasp the opportunities he’d given me.
In the middle of it all, I still remembered the cross. I was failing. I was destroying myself. But God was still there, reminding me that he bought me with his blood.
And then it got worse. The opportunities that I’d missed—the ministry God had given me that I was blind to—they were all taken from me.
“My God is able to deliver me. . . and he will.”
These words were so difficult to say, let alone believe. But I tried.
“But if he does not. . .”
Even more difficult to swallow this thought. If God chose to keep me from my heart’s greatest desire, would I still worship him?
Even now, as I type the words, they are slow and deliberate. I have to ask myself again, “Would I still worship him?”
I pause for what feels like an hour.
Yes. I will.
Because when I trusted Jesus as my Savior I knew that I was not asking him to enter my life and empower my agenda or my motives. I knew that I was not asking him to come along for the journey of my life.
I was asking him to lead me. I was asking him to go before me. I was asking him to pave the way in my life, and I know that whatever pain I may experience, he’s going through it before I am because he’s leading me.
That is how I can defiantly say that even if my God does not deliver me, I will still worship him.
How can we, when trials come our way, persevere if we’ve asked Christ to empower our agendas? We cannot. Instead, to truly defy our circumstances, we must understand that trusting Christ as our Saviour is following him through life and not requesting that he follow us.