The Smell of Fire
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and (walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. 27 The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.
Two nights ago I grilled dinner. It was a windy day and smoke billowed up from the coals. No matter which way I turned, the smoke found me.
Later that night, I crawled between clean sheets and just as I was drifting off I was startled awake by an acrid odor. It smelled as if something was burning. I got up and checked the heating unit to make sure it was not in trouble. I walked the house, trying to discern the origin of the smell.
I finally gave up and crawled back in bed, and just as I lowered the covers again a rush of air brought the scent of smoke to my nose again. I realized remnants of my outdoor cooking scented my hair.
It seems no matter how well we clean up; we change our image, we even move to a different location, remnants of our past cling to us like pungent reminders of tragic times in our lives.
It could be the death of a loved one, a lost job, a failed relationship, a missed opportunity, that clings to us like ashes.
I remembered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were in a pretty tight spot. They followed every leading of God they knew to follow. They had been righteous and fasted and prayed.They were good men. And then the fire. The furnace was so hot it killed the men who threw our heroes into the flames.
And then, oh then! What was it like to see Him? To feel the ropes fall away, but not feel the flames?
What did they discuss as they walked that day?It didn’t seem like they were in a hurry to leave Him. They had to be called out by King Nebuchadnezzar.
And the smell of fire had not even come upon them.
God took away even the remnants of their tragic experience. It was as if He were saying, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Years ago there was a horrific event I went through, and like the friends of Daniel I had done nothing to bring the trouble upon me. I walked about some mornings in a daze, wondering what course to take. A very important part of my life was stripped from me and I stumbled around like I was in a smoke filled room. I cried out to Him and the most wondrous thing happened. Each morning I would awaken to His presence. It was like He had been waiting for me all night, hovering over me tenderly waiting for my eyes to open. Each day I felt as if I were not alone, in seemingly the most lonely time of my life.
It took awhile, but the smell of that trouble left me, and it has never returned. In its place I have joy.
Revelation 21:1-5 NASB
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw )the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
(italics and bold are mine)