No Smell of Smoke
April 12, 2019
I met a young lady recently who told how as a little girl her parents were on drugs and abandoned her on the street. She was passed from foster home to foster home and went through all kinds of unfair things, abuse, and rejection. What she was saying, however, didn't match who I was seeing. I should have seen someone who was battle-scarred, insecure, and struggling. Instead I saw a beautiful, confident, strong, and well-spoken lady. I thought she had come from a loving family and had a healthy childhood. Just the opposite. All the odds were against her, but she had her college degree and a successful career, a loving husband, and two beautiful children. That's the way God restores. He brings you through with no sign of the difficulty, no sign of the betrayal, no sign of the loss.
In the book of Daniel, when three Hebrew teenagers wouldn't bow down to the king's golden idol, he was so upset that he had them thrown into a fiery furnace. They should have been instantly killed, but the Scripture says, "Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn't even smell like smoke!" (Daniel 3:27). To just survive that would have been a great miracle, but notice how God works. When He restores, there's no sign of what you've been through—the trouble, the injustice, the bad break. God is so amazing that when He restores, you're not even going to smell like the fire you've been through.
Isaiah 43:2 says, "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not harm you." We all go through the fire—things that are unfair, things we don't understand. In the fire, you have to remind yourself, "This fire is not going to burn me. This challenge is not going to keep me from my dreams. This sickness is not going to stop my purpose. These people who have done me wrong are not going to sour my life." When people met the Hebrew teenagers in years to come, they just saw three healthy, whole men. There were no scars, no permanent harm. You may be in the fire now, but like with them, it's not going to set you back permanently. When you come out, you're not going to be scarred for life. There's not going to be any sign of the fire, any sign of the sickness, any sign of the addiction. You're going to come out without the smell of smoke. Things are changing in your favor right now—healing, vindication, promotion, breakthroughs are on the way.