If you are able, go ahead and stand up as you prepare to read today’s scripture passage found on the “Listen” page. If you would like, take your shoes off so you can feel the ground beneath you. Go ahead, really… stand up.

Take a moment to feel the ground underneath your feet. Press down all ten of your toes. Become aware of what the ground feels like. Is it rough? Is it soft and welcoming? Turn your awareness to the earth supporting you as you stand, feeling the strength in your feet.

Now before you go on, take three deep, strong breaths as you stand tall, ready to experience God’s Word today.

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Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in shock and said to his associates, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the fire?”

They answered the king, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

He replied, “Look! I see four men, unbound, walking around inside the fire, and they aren’t hurt! And the fourth one looks like one of the gods.”

Nebuchadnezzar went near the opening of the furnace of flaming fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. The chief administrators, ministers, governors, and the king’s associates crowded around to look at them. The fire hadn’t done anything to them: their hair wasn’t singed; their garments looked the same as before; they didn’t even smell like fire!

Nebuchadnezzar declared: “May the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be praised! He sent his messenger to rescue his servants who trusted him. They ignored the king’s order, sacrificing their bodies, because they wouldn’t serve or worship any god but their God.”

Daniel 3:24-28

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This week as I’ve been pondering on this idea of standing firm, I found myself humming along to a classic hymn. I’ve caught myself in the grocery store, at work, in the shower, humming to the tune of “How Firm a Foundation.” Have you heard that one?

The first and then third verses go like this, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word… When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design, thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine” (from Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787).

I love that. Somehow it’s true, isn’t it? We see here that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were seen in the flames not as three but somehow as four. Even in the flames they were not left alone, but God was there. Yes, we must stand firm, but we do not stand alone.

Sara Hunt-Felke

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God with us, I am trying to stand firm. I want to believe when the flames seem to come up all around me that you won’t leave me alone. Help me believe. Amen.

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Today, may you stand firm.

Stand firmly aware that the God who walked in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is the same God who walks this road with you.

May you stand firm on the foundation built for you by the God who loves you fiercely.

Sara Hunt

Sara Hunt-Felke lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband TJ, their daughter Adelina and their dog “Monk.” Sara is a Hospital Chaplain and in her free time enjoys a good cup of coffee, baking, and spending time outside in God’s creation

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Jon Chacko

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