God Can Use You Even in the Middle of a Life You Didn't Choose
We all know Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego . . . right? Their refusal to bow to the idol. The fiery furnace. The angel who stood with them. We know the story, but I often forget that that moment isn’t all of their story. Their story didn’t begin the day when they stood with an angel in the midst of flames.
Their story began in Judah. They and Daniel (you know . . . the lion’s den Daniel) were taken captive when King Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem. They were hauled off and selected to serve the king in Babylon.
They never planned on serving a foreign king. They didn’t choose Babylon as the place to build their lives. They didn’t grow up dreaming of the life they eventually lived.
And yet, God used them. He equipped them to be used for His glory in the middle of the life they never wanted to live.
God gave them “knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning,” which gave them the credentials they needed to be in service to the king. Which gave them a position of authority. Which made them known among the people. Which made their obedience to the one true God more noticeable. Which caught the attention of the people and the king. Which brought glory to God and quite possibly brought people to faith in Him.
The fiery furnace was just a part of their story. Metaphorically, a chapter written in a language they never intended to speak.
Maybe you find yourself stuck in that same kind of chapter. Living a life you never wanted to live. At a job you never wanted to have. Trudging through grief you didn’t ask for. Barely surviving, wondering each month if your paycheck will make it to the end. Drowning in addiction, depression, anxiety. Walking on a treadmill of discontentment. Floundering in a relationship that’s lost its joy.
Friend, God sees you.
He knows that none of this was a part of your plan. He understands that you’re living a life you never wanted to live. But, He hasn’t abandoned you, and He will equip you. He can use you even in the middle of circumstances you’d never have chosen.
There’s a fiery furnace just ahead or maybe a lion’s den on your horizon—the place where God will redeem all your suffering and display His glory in ways you can’t even imagine. Hang in there, trust that God’s never left you, and ask Him to equip you to keep moving forward and to use you for His glory even in the places you never wanted to be.