I had tears filling my eyes over an ampersand sign embellished on a tee. Yes, you heard me correctly, one of those squiggly “and” signs. To save my dignity slightly, they were the type of tears that were stopped before they threatened to spill onto my cheeks. Why such an emotional reaction? It was a simple sign meant to represent an important conjunction in a verse in Daniel:
“And even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”
Some will say we live in a present day Babylon, referring to the exiled Jews in our post-Christian nation. Our present state of affairs cannot have a direct parallel since we cannot ever completely re-create a carbon copy culture, but there does hold relevance. If our Christian freedoms were denied, could we face the modern day equivalent of the furnace? Could we say with such resolute power that God is good even if we are not rescued?
I’ve tried to suppress the idea of being faced with a firm “no” from God. I, like most, feel more comfortable with a “yes” from God…or at least a little wiggle room with a hushed silence that I translate as a “maybe.”
What if this season of sickness and heartache pressed further into more of an epoch than a season?
What if this was a long chapter I was meant to stay in until death passed me into the hereafter?
I don’t know about you, but I prefer the “when” over the “if.”
This is the message I was confronted with while looking at a simple shirt with an ampersand sign. The heaviness of my situation weighed heavier with that ampersand sign. “And if not, He is still good.” Suddenly those men who faced the fire and the looks of disdain had more flesh and blood added to them in my mind than ever before.
If this is my forever, can I stand with resolve like the three men who faced a powerful world leader? Can we say even if this country worsens that God is still here and He is still good? Can you say, even if your circumstance doesn’t change, “God is still good?”
And even still, yes.