We lost a dear lady last week. A precious family friend, the wife to our amazing Music Minister, one of our sweet book club ladies, and one of my ‘spiritual giants’ in the Christian faith.
In February 2013, Shannon was diagnosed with a very advanced, very aggressive form of breast cancer. She immediately began treatments, surgery, and eventually reconstruction. It was a terribly long & painful road, but through it all she was faithful.
Shannon was always the first to share with you that her favorite Bible story since childhood was in the book of Daniel and was the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego & the Fiery Furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar decreed that all of his subjects be forced to fall upon the idols and worship, and if they refused, they would be thrown into the fiery furnace. The 3 faithful men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, told the King they would not worship the idol saying,
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)
She was so struck by their statement of faith that it became her own personal testimony of cancer- her version of the fiery furnace. She knew that her God could rescue her, that He could heal her, but if He did not, she would still praise Him. She would continue to worship Him in the midst of her fire. We were created for worship.
She had faith in His ability, but trusted in His sovereignty over all.
She said that in the midst of the fire, you have to decide- does God get to be God? Or does He not?
Is he only God when things are going well? Or is He God through every situation in life, in every single circumstance?
Shannon made that choice boldly saying, “He gets to be God!”
The first time I heard that aspect of her testimony, I was blown away. What other reaction is there, really?!? Her faith in Her God, His capabilities, His love and faithfulness to her, was and still is awe-inspiring. I pray for that kind of faith when I am in life’s fires.
But, her testimony is true for all of us.
We all have fires, don’t we?
So, maybe they are not cancer, but we all have fires in this life. It’s almost a guarantee.
So, I ask… what is your fire?
What is the storm that you find yourself in?
What is the situation that you must decide if God gets to be God, or does He not?
Can He be God in your fire? In your life? In your storms and in your successes? In your happy and in your sad?
He gets to be God in all.
Shannon was a living, breathing testimony to this truth and this promise.
Thank you dear one, for sharing your faith amidst the fire with us. Your life absolutely radiated Jesus and anyone who looked upon you saw Him first. Thank you for sharing that with me. I will not soon forget it.