Copyright 2018 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.
Did you ever imagine where you'd be at this point in life? Are you at the place you imagined you'd be, or has your life taken a detour, been delayed, or just never really taken off. I remember sitting at my desk in school, staring out the window imagining what life would be like as I got older. The thrills, exploits, and adventures waiting to happen and be discovered. I couldn't wait to take the Journey I had Imagined.
I love reading the story of 3 young men who risked their lives because they wouldn't go against the God they were named after. You might know them as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but did you know the names their parents gave them were Hananiah, Meshael, and Azariah. The reason their parents named them these names is because the last part of their name, the "iah" and "el", are a part of God's name. So, they were literally named after God.
Now, if your parents name you after someone, you might have been taught a little something about that person. These 3 young men not only were taught about their God, but also knew that everywhere they went they were carrying His name with them. These 3 young men lived during a time of war and desolation in their country. They saw many of their countrymen die, along with their country defeated by a wicked nation. They were carried off from their family and friends to a wicked and very unfamiliar place, and given completely different names.
One day, the country where they were taken decided to make everyone worship a wooden pole, or idol. The 3 young men knew this would go against the God they were named after, so they made a choice not to bow to the object. This choice gave them a death sentence. Since they would not bow, they were sentenced to be thrown into a blazing furnace that was heated 7 times hotter as usual. But it was their reply to their death sentence that stands out to me. They said, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power. But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."
It's that part where they say, "But even if he doesn't", that gets me every time. Some of our journey's haven't turned out the way we thought they were going to go. Just imagine how these young men felt as they grew up believing in the one they were named after. Imagine the dreams they had for themselves, only for their journey to take a turn for the worst. But, they still Trusted and Obeyed the one they were named after.
There might be some of you that haven't realized God has given you a name. He's named you and claimed you as His own. One of the things we lack is the Trusting and Obeying part. Just because the journey you imagined hasn't happened or was derailed doesn't mean your life is over. With God all things are possible. Your Reimagined Journey is waiting for you. Trust in Him and see Amazing miracles take place in your life!