Monday, November 28, 2016

But If Not

When I look at Brylee I sometimes feel like I am staring into my own face. We got to spend a super wonderful weekend away together at Time out For Women and I loved every moment.

Brylee is Sunshine and she makes everything better and happier. I love her so very much.

The same weekend that Brylee and I went to TOFW was Kaden's last weekend of swim team. To say that Kaden's High School swim season did not end on a high note is a humongous understatement.

Swim season is like running a very long marathon for our whole family. But especially for Kaden. He gets up very early, he has massive (MASSIVE) amounts of homework for all of his AP/dual enrollment/honors classes, he has a job and he is the prelude organist for our ward...his plate is full. So to add in 3+ hours of swim practice everyday plus all day meets on Saturdays made for a killer swim season. Many a-nights I stayed up far past the wee hours to keep him company while he finished homework only to have to wake him up 2 or 3 hours later to start again. I thought we might DIE through this process.

So to have a major disappointment come crashing down on him at the last was not fun. At around this same time I was studying the story found in Daniel 3 of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 
 This is without a doubt a story worth reading again and again and I knew that this was what Kaden needed to hear and we had a fabulous FHE centered around this story.

King Nebuchadnezzar built an idol of Gold and commanded the people to fall down and worship it. Those who didn't would be cast into the burning fiery furnace that same hour. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego would not:

There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

The King then had the three men brought to him and he questioned them again. I love the answer these brave men gave. They told the King that they knew their God could save them from the flames BUT IF NOT they said...

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

So their faith wasn't based on being saved! Their faith was there if they were saved and their faith was there if they weren't. BUT IF NOT! We STILL will not worship your golden image. The furnace was heated to 7 times its usual temperature and the men were thrown in the fire, the heat from the fire was so immense that the guards that threw them in died on the spot. The King was shocked to see the men unharmed and a 4th man in the fire with them:

Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
The men were brought out of the fire and they had been so protected that they didn't even smell like fire!

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

I wanted to have a camp fire before FHE so that our clothes would smell like fire but instead I just asked them if they had ever stood by a fire and NOT smelled like smoke. Of course they never had so when we got this this part it was really amazing to them that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did not even smell of smoke.

 Man! I sure love those boys! I have added the phrase But If Not to may prayers. And it was a great experience to teach this to my family and to Kaden who learned to continue to ask in faith for the blessing that you need and want knowing that God can do these things but that sometimes He doesn't. and to say But if Not I will still be faithful.

I love the scriptures!

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