I was watching the show “Cold Case” the other day. I had never seen it before, but the one episode has really stuck with me. The episode was about a guy who would kidnap women and eventually kill them. (I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with anything, but bear with me.) All of the women he kidnapped, had something to live for. One woman had a newborn baby, one a fiancé, and one faith in God. He would keep these women locked in a basement. He would then wait for them to give up hope. He would even still feed them. He would wait until the women gave up hope of escaping, until they gave up hope in the thing they lived for. He would then lock them in the basements to die. He was describing this process to the detectives, satisfied with himself that they all gave up. Something he said struck me though. He told the detectives, after they asked about the woman who had her faith, that she was the one who gave up the fastest.
Now I know this is a scripted T.V. show, but does it hold some truth? I know we would all like to think that no matter what we may face, we will trust God. But is that true? If you were like these women, kidnapped, locked in a basement alone for weeks or months, would you still have faith that it was part of God’s plan? Or perhaps if you or a loved one are facing a disease like cancer. If no amount of treatment is working, and the illness drags on for years, would you still trust God was listening to your prayers?
A few days after watching “Cold Case” I read in Daniel about Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar had made a golden idol for all the people to worship. Whoever did not fall down in praise to the idol would be thrown into the furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the golden image. Upon questioning them, King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the furnace if they did not worship his god. The three men replied in verse 17, “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.” It is what they spoke in verse 18 that amazes me, “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.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not only willing to die for God, but they were willing to die for Him even if He did not save them! Am I that devoted to my Lord? I would like to think I am, but am I? Are any of us? I am not saying you do or do not have such faith in God. What I am saying, is that it is not enough to simply hope for that kind of faith.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
We have to stay rooted in God, rooted in His word. I don’t want to just hope my faith would hold up in the fire. I want to dig my roots deep in the Lord so that no matter what fiery trial I face, my leaves are always green and I never fail to bear fruit. I want to be a tree.