Article: Crushed but not abandoned!!! | Mathew Ebenezer

“…. And these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace… ‘Look I see four men walking about in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth one looks like a son of the gods.’ …Then Nebuchadnezzar said “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego…” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3: 19-30 (NIV).
For the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing a lot about Social-distancing. No meeting together, no shaking hands, no hugs. We are commanded to stay away from one another. A few of us and many among our friends and relatives are quarantined. Police and drones are deployed everywhere to ensure Social distancing. Social media is overflowing with fake news and advices. Many are traumatized listening to these fabricated stories and baseless predictions regarding the upcoming recession, riots and much more.
Social distancing is not something new in India. Believers of Jesus Christ were always kept at a distance by our society. I have countless painful memories of social distancing that I went through from my cousins, relatives, friends and from the society in which I grew up. I am sure many of us have had their fair share of this bitter cup as they have decided to follow Christ and to serve Him among unreached communities.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into isolation, to the seven times hotter furnace. The soldiers who carried them were charred to death in seconds. But as these handsome young men had their eyes fixed on the things that are eternal, the fiery furnace turned out to be a bed of roses for them. They weren’t sure whether Yahweh would deliver them or not. But they stood firm on their trust in the LORD and continued to sing and dance inside the furnace. The Son of God couldn’t stop Himself from jumping into that furnace and dancing along with them.

Some of the results of their endurance in faith while undergoing social distancing were truly amazing:
(i) Yahweh’s name was glorified all throughout the kingdom, (ii) The LORD’s enemies were destroyed, (iii) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could experience the LORD’s presence in an unprecedented way and (iv) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego got promotion in their jobs.

2000 years back, in the garden of Gethsemane, kneeling at a stone’s throw distance from his best buddies, sweating droplets of blood, my Lord cried “Father, let Thy will be done.” While hanging on two pieces of wood with the help of three sharp nails at the top of a hill, what broke his heart more was not the social distancing from his companions, but that of his own beloved Father. Abandoned and forsaken, he screamed: Eli, Eli lema sabachthani? But it did not end there… Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph over His foes. He arose a Victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. His dying death has brought me life; His wounds have paid my ransom.

Let’s continue to lean on to His everlasting arms in this season of Social Distancing. Let us hear nothing else but the heartbeats of our beloved master. Let’s fix our eyes on nothing but at His beautiful face. Let’s enjoy His special presence with us as we walk through this valley of shadow of death. He’s able to deliver us from this pandemic. He’ll deliver us. Our Lord’s name will be glorified all around the globe. His saints will be honored. Hallelujah!!!

For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night

Prayer: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I’m weak, I am worn. Through
the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home. Amen.

Mathew Ebenezer



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