Even If He Does Not

This past November, our senior pastor delivered one of those sermons you have a hard time swallowing. Not because of shady principles, or heresy, but because it’s hard to chew up a truth bomb that big.

He spoke on the passage in Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar was going to toss Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego into the “blazing furnace”. They replied to the king, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Even if he does not.

Gulp.

Even if he

It was many, many months once those initial weeks had passed after we lost Harlynn before I was able to really pray again. I felt like I wasn’t heard. My prayers weren’t answered. God definitely “did not”. In my own hurt and heartache, I had to process a lot of things in a new way. It was painful to think I went around declaring miracles for other people and yet one was overlooked for me.

It still stings sometimes.

I remember several years ago, one of our hometown heroes was in a bad accident and life-flighted to another hospital. I remember getting angry with the people from back home for not believing God would heal him, or save him. Everyone’s report was hopeless. I prayed earnestly God would save him, because I knew He could. I knew He would. Then, the man died.

I was crushed.

Here I had been upset with other people for anticipating death when a miracle was in order, then death overcame. Were my prayers not enough? Did God not hear my pleas? I was rattled, to be sure. Then, when the doctor told us Harlynn’s heart had stopped beating, I gave up on praying prayers of faith. My faith was obviously being overlooked.

When Pastor Glen started in on this passage, I remembered the Bible story I’d heard as a child. These three refused to worship King Nebuchadnezzar, and were thrown into the furnace of fire to die as a result. They were not only saved, but didn’t even smell like smoke when they emerged from the furnace. Our children’s version skipped over this declaration from the three men. “But even if he does not….

Even if he does not, God is still able.

Even if he does not, God is still sovereign.

Even if he does not, God is still a God of miracles.

Even if he does not…I will still believe. I will still be faithful. I will still devote myself to Him. I started praying in faith again.

This past Monday, an old high school buddy was in a life threatening automobile accident. Driving to work on Monday morning, he was t-boned, suffered a traumatic brain injury, multiple other injuries, and was life-flighted to another hospital….to die. The outcome was bleak. Another hometown hero, not going to make it.

When I heard the news, I went to my room and began to pray. The first few verses of Psalm 41 are my go-to when someone needs miraculous healing. I read the verses, I put Joel’s name in and claimed those truths over him. I cried. I prayed. I believed God would heal him. “But even if he does not,” I also believed everything for Joel’s family had already been taken care of.

My best friend, Tiff, called me to tell me the update. It wasn’t good. There on the phone, I began to pray – to beg God – for Joel’s restoration.

Joel, right now, is sitting in his hospital room, talking to loved ones. He recognizes them. He’s speaking. He’s breathing on his own. He came back from the brink of death.

Joel is living testament we still serve a God of miracles. I couldn’t be happier. For Joel, for his family, for his friends – my heart is just full of awe and wonder and amazement at where he is today compared to what we were hearing of him one week ago.

And tomorrow, my own Little Man faces a big appointment. He goes in for one final ABR before his hearing aids. However, at his last appointment, after several prayers for total healing for him, he was (unofficially) downgraded from a moderate-to-severe (implication on the severe) hearing loss to a mild-to-moderate loss. I’m believing that was only a phase in his process to total restoration of his hearing. I’m believing his hearing will be completely and miraculously restored. I’m praying we can forego hearing aids altogether.

But even if he does not….I will still believe God performed a miracle in my son. I will still believe God has many more miracles in store. I will still believe Little Man’s hearing will be completely restored one day.

Even if we do not get the miracle we ask for, in the way we ask for it, I will still believe God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is still a God of miracles. I’ve seen enough of them to know it to be true. I will continue to pray for miracles.

And even if he does not….He already has.

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