Larry, Moe and Curly are praying one day (just go with me) when they are snatched by the authorities, arrested, and thrown into a furnace that is designed for smelting.  Smelting, just so you know, is the process of melting and mixing metals at extremely high temperatures so that the molecules bond to form new metals.  So this is a HOT fire they got going, not only that but the King, because he’s a jealous and crazy kind of guy, decides that the thing isn’t hot enough.  It needs to be SEVEN TIMES hotter than normal.

It is so incredibly hot that the soldiers who toss the terrible trio into the flames die in the process.

The king is pretty happy until he takes a look into the furnace (no idea how exactly he does this) and is really confused.  “You guys messed up!” the King said.  “Not only are the three stooges alive, but they’re a four man rock band now! And that front man is just…I mean…. He’s just….”

Ok so that may not be exactly what happened according to Daniel, but I think of my Jesus as a rock star so that he shows up as the front man to a BC band called “Playing with Fire”- that makes total sense to me.

The reason I bring it up though, aside from the fact that I think this is an awesome story, is that I’ve always wondered what it was like for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (and if Abednego ever felt bad because his name was last and didn’t end in “ach”).

I mean, what must it have been like to watch the soldiers ordered to kill you, suddenly die from the heat – the HEAT, not the flame, the HEAT – of the furnace?  What must it have been like to know that you had already beaten the odds just by living this long?  What must it have felt like when they felt the ropes burn away, but their clothes and skin and hair were perfectly fine?  What must it have been like when they finally landed on the floor of the furnace and realize that it didn’t seem all that bad- and there’s this other guy just hanging out?

Personally, when life decides to toss me into the furnace, it’s usually being nice to me.  The things that come at me aren’t all THAT bad.  I mean, I wasn’t in Sendai on March 11, I wasn’t even in the US on September 11.  I have struggles and trials, but not like that I don’t.  My furnace was probably COLDER than normal and it was all I could do to not scream and wail like a little girl.

Until finally I looked up from where I had fallen and saw the fourth man in the fire.  The front man.  Right there with me, waiting for me to get up so we could party together.  Because it doesn’t matter what’s going on, it doesn’t matter how hot the furnace is.  When the fourth man is present you have plenty of reason to party.

I will delight in the joy of my salvation even when there doesn’t seem to be anything else.  When rejoicing in trials just isn’t happening, and when my weakness is debilitating and I can’t think beyond the pain, Jesus is still there, and I can still delight in the joy of my salvation.  I will dance and rock out because HE is still God of the universe, and He’s taken time out to be with me – one of the world’s three stooges – and make me a rock star too.

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