|Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego bySimeon Solomon, 1863.|
Thursday, March 29, 2012
There are No Coincidences with God
Yesterday something unusual happened the reading at daily Mass was the exact reading we read at night prayer. This is unusual as we read two Bible stories each night in order and when we finish we begin the Bible again. The two stories we read last night spanned the exact verses covered in the daily reading. This has only occured one other time about 2 years ago. The story on that occasion was Lazrus and the rich man.
As I do not believe there are ever coincidences with God, I began to reflect about the reading from yesterday. It was from the Book of Daniel and described how King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego should worship a golden statue. When they refused to worship anyone other than the one true God he threw them into the furnace. So often when reflecting about the daily readings floods of ideas come rushing in but today nothing. One idea came and that was to ask Kostin our seven year old. He loves reading the Bible and often stays up late into the night reading it.
When I asked Kostin what the meaning of the story was he answered, “you should follow God and not serve golden statues”.
It was as if a light went off! Yes, exactly, how could I have been thinking anything else. It was the book of Daniel describing the Gospel of Matthew 6:24 in a nut shell.
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."(Matthew 6:24)
In our home we read this passage every Thursday and would have read it later tonight.
The remainder of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego concludes with Nebuchadnezzar looking into the furnace and saying "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?""But," "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."(Daniel 3:91-92)
How similar is it to the promises made in Matthew. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you".“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble"(Matthew 25-34).
When we seek God He provides for us. Just as a child who needs constant reminding God in His wisdom repeats himself. It took a small child to show me how similar are God's messages and teachings.