Hell-Bound

I have heard people say that if you are going through hell, then you should not stop. Inspirational, yes. But, like most things in a Christian’s life, not completely accurate. With man’s eyes, it makes sense, but if we take a moment to aspire to God’s sight, we might see things a little differently. 

When is the best time to see the stars? Day or night? What is the best time to see God? The Bible says He is both a cloud by day and a fire by night. He is always with us. But, like the wind, He goes unseen and often unnoticed as He touches on and filtered through everything in our lives. 

Where can we find Him then? 

I know of a place. 

Daniel was a prophet of God who saw visions; He had three friends who did not. In multiple different accounts, Daniel has direct contact with God’s word—he writes the book of Daniel. But, the sight and presence of God did not come so easily to his three friends. It’s noted that the three Hebrew children prayed and sought after God, but aside from one specific instance, they never truly saw Him. 

The instance I’m alluding to, of course, is the fiery furnace. A man-made hell designed to destroy the three young men. There is no way to sugar-coat it. God placed fiery peril in their life, and asked them to follow the path toward it. His will led them directly into danger, and when they chose to follow Him, He provided no way of escaping the encounter. 
The only place God would show Himself was in the fire. 

I think I tend to romanticize what the fire was like for them. A light show with smoke. But, fire is nothing like that. 
When an inevitable trial snares us in our life, it is not romantic or aesthetic. It’s horrifying. It’s bright and loud and overwhelming. The fire sears and burns us, scorching through our skin in scalding wave after scalding wave, leaving slow-to-heal scars. The smoke blurs our eyes so that we see no way out, and it coats our lungs and chokes our voice. We cannot escape and we cannot cry for help. 

And, yet, somehow in all of that, the three Hebrew children saw God. They saw Him first-hand for the first time. 
He didn’t show up. He didn’t step up. He was always there. But something in the smoke cleared their eyes. Something in the heat set their soul afire. Something in the pain awakened adoration. 

It’s not sensical, but it’s true. 

Christ suffered unlike any other, and I think it’s safe to say, it’s sometimes easier to see Him through the lense of suffering. 
So wait on God. Seek after God. Wrestle with Him. Call Him out. Plead His mercy. Wonder at His mystery. Bring all your questions and all your pain. But, whatever you do, don’t let go. 

To doubt is human. To fear is human. But, to stay faithful is divine. 

If you are in hell, hold on. You may soon see what you have been so long seeking for.

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