Saturday, January 30, 2010

No Smell of Smoke Over Here

This past week we started up our new semester of Women's Small Groups at Seacoast, and I was so excited to dive right in. I love my Thursday morning fix of God's Word and fellowship - can't beat that combo! ;-) I am starting a new study entitled "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shrier and was challenged by the question, "Do I truly anticipate hearing from God?" - but that's a blog for another day.
Another question that was passed around our table to get to know our new groups was "What season of life are you in?" As I contemplated my answer, I was truly jumping through a year of seasons trying to figure out where I really was. I was brought back to a scripture that touched me over a year ago when I did Beth Moore's Study on Daniel. We were looking at the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3. In this story, these 3 men refused to bow down and worship a golden idol and their punishment - the fiery furnace. All 3 were bound up and tossed in the fire after the King had it heated 7 times hotter than usual. They had an amazing attitude - willingness to lose their life for the Lord yet faith that He could save them. Long story short, when the King peered into the furnace they saw 4 men in there - all untouched. The scripture that bounced off the page to me is the one that came to mind as I shared my season of life at the moment:
Daniel 3:27 "...there was no smell of fire on them."
 There are many times in my life where I have gone through trials, and I have the scars to prove it. They serve as reminders to me of God's faithfulness. But my most recent challenge has left me in the state of two seasons - my life situation bellows of winter, yet my soul steadies in the season of summer. I truly feel that although the cold of winter is all around me, I can feel the warmth of God's love, protection, peace and grace cover me. It's so amazing, because in "Christie's World" I would have been tossed as a wave of the sea, but by the grace of God, I am steadied by HIS hand. As this trial comes to an ever so slow close, I feel as if I am walking out of the fire without even a smell of fire upon me.

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