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But did you burn, though?

Your girl just stepped out of the furnace, and let me tell you, it was hot. I mean, everything was hot. This journey? It's been interesting, starting way back around July or August and this heat wave just kept on going straight through to January or maybe late December. It’s been the hottest winter ever. I'm gonna give y’all all the “TEA” on my crazy life eventually, 'cause it's been a wild one. But for now, this is for anyone in the thick of it like I was – 'cause nobody broke it down for me. Right now, it's about finding the strength to choose yourself. Forget trying to unravel why you're in this hott mess; focus on who's with you in the heat of the moment.

I've been thinking about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, out of the Book of Daniel, Chapter 3. Their story? It’s about faith and courage leading to next-level divine intervention. They got thrown into a fiery furnace, but walked out unburned and unbothered. It's a testament to their convictions and God's protection.

These guys were just worshiping God, doing their thing, following their calling, and for that, they ended up in the furnace, facing destruction. But the thing is, God knew they would be there. He met them in that furnace. The Bible talks about a fourth man walking around in there with them, showing that God was right alongside them. It blows my mind that what was supposed to destroy them, God used to elevate them. They were unharmed, and when they came out, everyone saw that it was nothing but God.

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego teaches us a couple of key points:

1. Courage and Faith: Their unflinching courage and faith in the face of a fiery death sentence are seriously powerful. They stood up to the king's decree, trusting in their God. This story is all about holding firm to your beliefs, even when it seems crazy, and having faith that you'll be vindicated. Courage isn't just for the conventional; it's for the unconventional, the out-of-the-box scenarios where it's needed most.

2. Divine Protection and Deliverance: It also shows us divine protection and deliverance in action. Against all odds, these men were saved from the furnace. This reminds us that God has the power to step in and provide an escape for those who trust in Him. The lesson here is that in the midst of trials, there's strength and hope in the possibility of divine intervention.

God will meet us in the very thing that was meant to take us out. I found myself in my own pit, my own furnace, and it felt unfair. I was doing what I thought God wanted – showing up, honoring Him – yet there I was in an uncomfortable, unpredictable, and unfortunate spot. I was frustrated with God. Why let me walk into this? But amidst all my questioning, one question came back to me: but did you burn, though? I just had to giggle. My joy is knowing that while many might not have made it through this kind of heat, I did. And for that, I’m so thankful.

So, if you're somewhere asking, "God, why this predicament? Why am I thrown into this situation? I thought I was doing right by you, God, and now it feels like I'm being punished or tested for my obedience," then remember this: The same God that protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace could have prevented them from going in, but He didn't. And I don't have all the answers for why that is. But what I do know is that even while they were in the thick of it, the situation didn't consume them. They walked out like they never even entered.

I want to encourage you, no matter how intense or crazy the heat in your life feels, to know that God is with you even in the most scorching, darkest, and uncomfortable moments. My prayer for you is that you'll experience that same unbothered, unburned exit from your trials.

You might be feeling like you're at the end of your rope, like the flames are licking at your heels and you're about to go up in smoke. But take a moment to pause and ask yourself, "But did I burn?" Because when you come through this, when you step out of your furnace, people will see. They'll see the hand of God in your life, and they'll know that the only way you could walk out unscathed is with Him by your side.

So hold on tight to that courage and faith. Embrace the unconventional path if that's where you're called to walk. And remember, God's protection and deliverance aren't just old stories – they're promises for us, too. No matter how unpredictable the path, how uncomfortable the heat, you're not going down. You'll walk out unburned and unbothered, with a testimony that'll set hearts ablaze just like yours.

You are a girl on fire. Let your light shine – unburned, unbothered, unstoppable.

Love, Peace, and TEA!

--Ebony King

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