One of my favorite moments as children’s director is seeing it “click.” You know, when you are teaching kids something and they understand. Like, actually understand. Not just hear, not just know, but understand. When they have that “aha!” moment, and truly recognize what it means.
That moment happened this past Sunday. And it was beautiful.
We were studying Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and their encounter with King Nebuchadnezzar. In case you don’t know the story from Daniel chapter 3, here’s the summary (paraphrased except quotations):
King Nebuchadnezzar had built a 90-foot tall golden statue. When time came to dedicate the statue, he decreed all people were to bow down and worship it upon hearing the sound of music. Those who refused? Death by blazing fire.
When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow, Nebuchadnezzar was furious and ordered the three to be brought before him. He then gave them an ultimatum: bow down or be killed. Nebuchadnezzar looked at the three and said, “… if you do not worship it, you will immediately be thrown into the blazing fire – then who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”
Here’s my favorite part:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego looked at the king and told him, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”
Even if He does not….
That was it… that was the “aha” moment.
These kids have heard this story over and over again. They could tell it just as well as I could. But in that moment, that child understood. He looked at me with wide eyes and open mouth and said, “even if He doesn’t!” And a smile came over his face, one of comfort. One of knowing God is in control, even if we can’t see what’s happening. Even if we are facing our fiery furnace.
That child finally understood what so many have failed to understand. Many times our plans and wants don’t match up with God’s. Our view of our situation isn’t the big picture. We’re a part of it, seeing the “now.” But God, He’s already at our future. He sees the big picture. And He knows exactly where we need to be and why. Even if it is scary or hurts for a time. He never said it would be easy. But He did say He was in control.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that God was in control. They knew He could save them. But they also knew that it may have not been in His plan. So instead of worrying, they trusted. It’s time we do the same. It’s time we understand that He’s in control. No, it may not be easy, yes it may hurt sometimes. But the God who created the universe and knows what’s to come, the one who redeems us through His Son – the ultimate display of love – is on our side. He cares for us and calls us His children. He has this. It’s time we just trust.
– Hollie Ivey, MBC Rooted Children’s Director
Scripture taken from Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee.