The fire reflects in his eyes as he stares boldly into the flames, hands shaking, legs trembling, heart erratic. His hands are tied. Big soldiers stand behind him in heavy armor. He looks to his right and left at his two friends who are facing the same flames. A staff jabs his side as he is herded forward. Sweat pours.
He remembers the words of the king, “But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
Another jab into his side. The heat is unbearable. It burns. He begins to cry, then grinds his teeth from the pain. He tells the king, “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.“
As he and his friends are forced into the blazing furnace, the soldiers fall to the ground, unable to survive the intense heat and flames. They believe that God will save them from the flames, but they are ready to give everything if he chooses not to. Their love for God is greater than anything, even their own lives.
But then, there he is. In the midst of their fear and suffering, he is there. Joy fills their faces and their hearts. Though they are in a furnace, they do not burn. They are safe. God is there.
“We know he will,” they said. “But just in case he doesn’t, we would still rather die than follow your god. We still choose our God.” They looked into the flames and knew that God was worth it all.
What does complete surrender look like for you?
(My friend, Christina, painted this after I asked her what complete surrender looked like.)