The Fiery Furnace

 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

One of the most beautiful pictures of trusting in the sovereignty of God is in the story of three young Jewish men: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  These three lads refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. The punishment for such rebellion against the king was death in a fiery furnace. When the young men were taken before the king just before facing death, they respectfully explained:

The God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)

That is a faith that’s real – truly tried by fire. God can deliver me, but if He chooses not to, I’ll serve Him anyway. God can heal me, but if He doesn’t, I love Him regardless.

The young men were thrown into the furnace. Their refusal to bow to the King’s request infuriated Nebuchadnezzar. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie the young men up and toss them into the flames. The flames were so hot, the soldiers who took the bound boys to the furnace died in its heat. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked into the flames and the King stood by to watch.

“Didn’t we throw three men in the furnace,” the King asked in amazement.

“Look, I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25).

That was enough for the king to have a change of heart. He ordered the door opened, and the three young men walked out of that furnace without a singed hair on their heads or a hint of smoke on their clothes!

We can be sure of this, my friend – when walking through the fiery trials of life, we are never alone. Jesus is right there with us all the way. A little smoke and fire doesn’t bother Him one little bit.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You that I never have to walk through the fiery trials of life alone. You promised that You will never leave me, and I cling to that truth today.  Also, thank You for sending friends to walk through the flames with me!  They are some of my most treasured gifts.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What do You Think? 

Describe one of the fiery trials in your life that you have had to walk through?

How was God’s presence manifested in the “flames?”

Do you have a friend who needs someone to walk through a fiery trial with her?

Do you desire to have friends like the three young men in this story?  If so, ask God to send you one or two friends with a strong faith with whom you can lock arms.

Gwen, Mary and I are so thankful that you have allowed us to walk through life with you.  You are a blessing!

Leave a comment and  tell me the name of one friend who is your fiery furnace friend. I’ll randomly pick 2 and send you both a Starbucks gift card.

Want More? 

Fiery trials come in all shapes and sizes with varying degrees of heat.  But no matter what the trial, there is always a lesson to be learned.  God can use it for good (Romans 8:28). Let’s not waste our sorrows, but turn them around and use them for good!  To learn more on how to do just that check out my book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past.

 

127 Responses to The Fiery Furnace

  1. Bev Wiley December 24, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Linda Armstrong is my friend through firey trials.
    2 1/2 years ago my husband suffered a massive stroke.
    1 1/2 years ago my 28 year old daughter suffered a massive stroke.
    A couple of months ago my friend and co-worked of several years killed herself.
    Linda has been a constant prayer partner and one who would just listen. I do not think I could have gotten through this without her.

  2. Denise December 24, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    This is an amazing article, just as is all the articles I read each and every day from you. Thank you for your hard work and dedication and for honoring your calling. You continue to make a difference in my life.

    My fiery friend is someone I have known since I was a little girl. She is someone that listens to my every word, always answers her phone or returns my phone call, knows by the sound of my voice or the look on my face when something is troubling me, and has always been consistent in who she is. She’s never forgotten my birthday, has seen me at my worst and has never left my side or judged me. My fiery friends name is Norma and she has been by my side for over 40 years.

    In return, I know Norma better than anyone. For the past many, many years we have shared thoughts, stories, desires, wants, and needs despite our age difference. Norma is a true role model as you see, she just turned 80 this year. We have watched the world change together more recently than ever and face the challenges bravely together. Norma has paved the way as a beautiful example for not only myself but for so many others as well. She holds the bar high and her knowledge and wisdom are unmistaken.

    I feel so privileged to have read your article and recognize my blessings in having my fiery friend named Norma. She is my true gift from God.

  3. Caroline December 24, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    My fiery furnace friend is my best friend Jo. She’s walked through all sorts of stuff with me, bringing comfort and speaking God’s word into the situations. We’ve cried together and laughed together usually with some kind of caffeine and chocolate!

  4. Kathy Sheppard December 24, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    My friend’s name is Judy – I have so been in the fire and she has been there with me. Now she is in her own fire and I feel blessed to be an encourager and friend to her. We live miles apart but talked everyday sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. God is good!

  5. Kitty Johnson December 24, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    My “adopted mom” from church/friend – Jean Whitacre!!! xox

  6. Deborah Claypool December 24, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Merry Christmas ! I have walked through a fiery furnace this year with my friend ,Pam, right by me every step of the way. She held my hand, prayed with me and most importantly kept my eyes focused on our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  7. Yvonne Gilmour December 24, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing the word of encouragement. My friend Michelle is in a fiery trial and I didn’t know how to pray for her. After reading the devotion today, it opened my eyes to how to pray.
    Thank you,
    Yvonne

  8. Angilen Adkins December 24, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    My two fiery furnace friends are Dianne & Eda. These two have been my constant companions and champions. They often remind me of God’s goodness toward me. They constantly encourages me to surge forward, regardless of what life, people may bring. Most of all they encourages me to use my spiritual gifts, that God has blessed me with inspite of what some people do, think or say. Without the godly support of these two God fearing sisters in Christ, my journey in the furnace would have destroyed me by now.

  9. Fauniel December 24, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    My fiery furnace friend: Jeannie

  10. Jane Lacher December 24, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Lynn is my fiery furnace friend. She has not walked away when others have.

  11. Becky Cornelius December 24, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    My friend Diane Is my fiery friend. We talk every day. She is a good listener! Never judges. Finds joy in everyday things. I just love her.

  12. Beth December 24, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Michele and I have been friends for many years. We met at church when our kids were small. I taught both of her childrenin my kindergarten class. During those years we became very close and discovered how much we have in common…the year we were born, our love of 80s music, we married our husbands within a week of each other in the same year (24 years ago), and similar ‘fiery trials’ that I only trust her with, and vice versa. It was when her son was in my class 7 years ago that I heard that sweet 5 year old boy telling another child, “Mrs. Rogers is my mom ‘s favorite friend.” Since that day, Michele and I have called each other “FFF ” …favorite friend forever. Today ‘s Girlfriends in God post made me realize she’s my “fiery furnace friend ” too. We treasure the friendship God has blessed us with.

  13. Anitra December 24, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    The Lord has truly blessed me with a “fiery furnace girlfriend in God” named Lindsey. Our spirits are so connected that we often sense the other being under attack by the enemy and intercede on the other’s behalf. I am so grateful to have a friend who is willing to fast and pray and stand with me through tough times. I gladly do the same for her. She is a mighty prayer warrior and not afraid the stand before the enemy and refuse to budge until the glory of the Lord is revealed. She inspires me and my faith and I am blessed to call her my friend.

  14. LillieT December 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    My friend Margaret and I have walked through many firey furnances together. I thank God for her everyday.

  15. Bethany December 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Dana (: She’s my best friend and we’ve been through hell and back together these past couple of weeks.

  16. Barbara Gardner December 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Thank you so much for this story. I just needed that reminder to get me through trials in my life.

  17. Barbara Gardner December 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Friend : Jill Foster Sallee
    jsallee@bluemarble.net

  18. Amy December 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is my best friend, Raychel. We’ve both been through some really tough times in the last several years. We’ve been there for each other, reminding each other of God’s love for us and that He has a plan for us. Even though we lives miles apart now, we still call each other almost daily to hold each other up.

  19. maggie December 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Sharon,
    Your devotionals are wonderful. My two friends that walk through the fiery
    fire with me are my sister and my husband.

  20. cheryl December 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    sharon, loved this devo! and really hits home…during a crises in my marriage(for a year and half) it was a difficult time and i don t know what i would of done if it wasn’t for God and my fiery furnace friends that the God provided for me. And even though you asked for one..i can’t mention one with out the other..i considered them my salty and sweet combo. one was there with such a sweet since about her that when i just needed a shoulder to cry on she was there to lend it to me..the other ..even though very sweet in herself was my salt..rubbing against me to shake me back into reality when i was just not thinking straight…i will always be so ever grateful for these women of God in my time in the furnace.

    cheryl

  21. Keri Jenkins December 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Wow what a blessing to open my devotion and see the verse of Isaiah 43:2. My parents’ last name is Waters and for Christmas I had taken a picture of a waterfall from a recent trip my husband and I were on, and placed that verse on the picture. I had it enlarged and framed. I can’t wait until she opens it tonight! God is so awesome! Thank you for your encouragement and allowing God to speak through you. Merry Christmas!

    P.S. My fiery friend is my Mom, Cathy. :)

  22. Christina Flahive December 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    HI Sharon,

    Your devotion today really hit home for me because I am going through great emotional trials. Helena, who is one of my newest close friends, doesn’t know she’s a fiery furnace friend. However, our relationship has been a wonderful support to me in these difficult times and I treasure her friendship. Many times, we do fun things on the spur of the moment. She’s a beautiful, wise and mature Christian.

    I have been recently introduced to Girlfriends in God by another sister in faith. Thank you so much for your insight.

  23. Tammy December 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I can name a few that are right there with me, but the one that comes to mind, and ALWAYS reminds me to seek out what God is trying to teach me in each trial would have to be my dear friend and little sister in Christ, Annah! I praise God for her friendship, and her reminders that keep me pointed in the right direction…seeking God’s DIRECTION!

  24. Sonja December 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Worst Christmas of my life. Found out right before Thanksgiving that my husband is having an affair. Stephanie is my fiery furnace friend. Don’t know how I would be making it without her right now.

  25. Grace Nikander December 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi Sharon: I read “Girlfriends” every day and am so blessed by it. I have a special friend who walked with me through the time my husband was laid off from work. We are senior citizens and things were very tight. We learned how to do so many things we never would have attempted – God renewed our lives and helped us. My friend gave me a very generous Starbucks card. She said “I know you never treat yourself now so enjoy”. We both cried. I used some of the card for gifts I couldn’t afford and enjoyed the rest.
    Thanks again for the blessing your website is every day. Grace

  26. margaret December 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    My good friend, Bev, moved away to S.C., we walked many furnace trials together. I miss her so much!

  27. Vicki December 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Laura is my fiery furnace friend. And we typically see one another through fiery times with Starbucks!

  28. Carolyn December 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    My friend, Jeanie, and I have walked each other through fun and rough times. We have both struggled with broken hearts walking with our grown children through their heartaches. We have encouraged each other through months of looking for a place to live. She helped me when I lost my mom and it looks like she will be losing her mom very soon. I plan to be there, as close as possible, to help her through it. We both encourage each other and lift each other up to the Lord. I’ve never had a friend like this, and I am so thankful God has brought us together.

  29. Heidi December 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I am truly blessed to have several strong faith, God loving women in my life so it was hard to pick just one

  30. Sarita Sisco December 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    My “fiery furnace friend” is Mary Arnold. We met when we were pregnant with our children, who are now almost 17 years old. We have been through many fiery ordeals together, yet “when one of us falls, the other lifts us up in scripture & prayer.” She is my “shoulda-been” sister and I cannot fathom life without her friendship. She’s truly a blessing from God.

  31. ANA December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    One very good faithful friend of mine that walks with me through the fire and strengthens me with the word of God is Marioly Perez. As I became a new Christian this last Feb 8th, 2012. My friend has prayed for me for the Holy Spirit to give me the strength and guidance to make the changes, I knew I needed to change. She kept saying obey and He will bless you and your relationship with Him will grow as your faith as well. Asking to the filled with the Holy Spirit ,Oh so gentle He walked with me step by step and I God has changed me completely to be a new person being now my biggest testimony to others, specially my family. God has been faithful to me and I refuse to let anything come in between my Lord and Savior and me. I am blesses with His strength for I know all these internal changes could not have been possible with my strength alone. He works with me breaking me and molding me and I am blessed to have my friends constantly reassuring me of His strength and constant loving through the fire, studying the word of God together.

  32. Lydia December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Jackie Hodson helped me cling to God and believe in His unconditional love and faithfulness in all my weakness during a very long fiery trial. She helped me shift my focus from myself to Him and I learned to trust and depend on Him rather than myself for the first time. She is a warrior in this Body and I thank God for sending her to help and teach me in my time of great need!

  33. LaVonne December 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    This is so true, Jesis provides our protective shield through all things. My BBFF (Bible best friend forever) is Amy. We have shared so many struggles together again and have pulled through times of “fire” only because we had each other to help remind us that Jesus was right there walking with us. Amy keeps me grounded in Christ and is my blessing from God.

  34. Jaynie December 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is my friend Erin.

  35. Sabrina December 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I’m thankful for the fiery trials that God has brought me through. I have a wonderful friend, Felicia, who is always there to help me during my trials. God is always with me!

  36. Jackie Barrett December 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    What a timely message. I am going through some weight loosing stress with my adult son. My fiery furnace friend, Janet, is always there for me as I was for her when she went through her cancer and her family stresses of many. God is good and always sees us through it. We have to remind each other that even if we don’t see the completion of our prayers, we know that God is at work and His Word does not return void. It accomplishes what it has been sent to do. It is hard to wait for the answer and stay in faith, but oh the rewards from Him are worth every second.
    Thank you for sharing your teachings and revelations from God.
    God bless your ministries.

  37. pam December 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    I give thanks always that Our Heavenly father puts earthly guides by way of great friends to help us through fiery trials. These are friends who tarry way more than hour and are there, no matter what. If you just need a sounding board, they are there, and the bounce doesn’t weary them or cause them to stop coaching you on. If you need advice or counsel even in the midist of your dark moment, what they say is illuminated for your guidance through the spirit of the holyghost who was sent to comfort us also. This was my case when I went through a tough divorce and God sent the right friend to tarry with me.

  38. nancys1128 December 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is Deb Z.

  39. Beverly Ebersole December 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is Julie. She is always there when I need someone.

  40. Patricia Fann December 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Sharon,

    Within the last few months, I have had trials that would cause the unsaved to give up. I have been separated from my husband 5 times. The not so funny thing is, we have only been married 10 months. We both are saved but I was what I now call a surface Christian. I kept all of my hurt, shame, tears and situations to myself because I didn’t want anyone to know what I was enduring. One day, I was sitting in the middle if the street when I received a call from my husband telling me to make arrangements for me a place to live. That was the day my storm turned into a tornado. As the call was completed, I sat in my car, cluesless, distraught and helpless. It was then, when I screamed, “Lord! You have got to help me! I don’t know what to do!” I began to talk, to Him, as if I had another passenger in the car. I told the Lord everything I was going through, from beginning to end. When I finally finished talking, I received my answer. Now, you must know, once I finished talking, I realized I had gone from frazzled to calm. God directed me to call my husbands uncle. Now, if you are thinking like I was, I said, “What?!?! This his family.” Nevertheless, I was trusting in God so I followed instructions. His uncle is a pastor and after listening to me, he prayed and said, “Neice. I knew something wasn’t right and I have been praying.” When he told me that, tears began to roll again because I had just realized God’s grace. He directed me to talk with his wife, Trina Ward, whom has been that someone, that help me realize that I was a surface Christian. She has been there through it all, praying, listening and counselling. Her and her husband have been very active in aiding this marriage in restoration.

    I don’t want to end this email before I tell you, although my struggles,(fight), are long from over, my husband sat with me and told me he had been called to preach. He stated he had been running and didn’t know what to do. He stated he was afraid of that responsibility. He has apologized for all the things he has done and asked me not to give up on him. I know now all these trial were the devil trying to stop God’s Will from being done. AMEN

  41. Gervea LeAnn December 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi Sharon,

    Happy Holidays to you! Thank you for the simple, yet inspiring devotional today! I am truly touched by the powerful words that I am not alone even in a fiery furnace. This is the first year that I am away from my family for Christmas and it is a bit lonely, but I thank God for blessing me with a wonderful, loving best friend to endure the fiery furnace with: Elliscent Quinones. She has been my “counterpart” all year, taking care of me and smothering me with nothing but love and support. I have gone through SO MUCH that I almost lost myself, but because of such a magnificent Heavenly Father, I was never alone. And I have to thank her for EVERYTHING she’s done. I could not have asked for a better SPECIAL best friend. She brought friendship to a whole other meaning and brought me hope that there is SOMEONE other than God and my family that could love me unconditionally. The award of being the GREATEST best friend goes to her:)

  42. Susan December 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Jennifer is my fiery furnace friend. We have sons who have similar problems, and we give each other advice, councel, and a sounding board for our thought and discoveries. Since we are going through similar situations that most people around us aren’t, we can count on each other for understanding and prayer when we are struggling.

  43. Judy December 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Good Morning!

    My fiery furnance friends include Phyllis, Terry, (and many more). My daughter was killed in a motorcycle accident this past April, leaving behind three little ones. My husband and I are now guardians of those little ones. However, my friends helped us and continue to help us each and every day. One of them even said to me-”Judy you are in the fiery furnance right now, but God is with you and you will come out unharmed. He is refining you.” Thank you for this devotion this morning.

  44. Roxanne December 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    My friend Lina Cheek is my fiery furnace friend. I know that I can call on her anytime of the day and night and she will be there for me. We met when she walked through the doors of an aerobics class I was teaching 30 years ago…. I wondered why she was there. She didn’t need to look any better. I immediately judged this blonde beauty and yet, there was something in her speech later that morning that drew me to her. She is an incredible listener, a faithful prayer warrior and a loyal friend….. What had I seen and heard in her??? It was Jesus…. She knew Him and we have been best friends ever since. Thank you Jesus for Linda….my beautiful Spirit filled friend!

  45. Tina December 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am blessed to have several “fiery furnace friends” but currently my friend, Debbie is walking through the fire of behavioral & mental health issues with me as we meet weekly to pray & cry over our children. How thankful I am that my Abba Father not only walks with me, He also gives me the gift of friends who are willing to come & walk along beside me.

  46. April in PA December 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Hi Sharon,
    I just read your awesome fiery furnace devotional and I’d have to say that my best friend Andrea is one that has been in and out of furnaces with me for over 15 years. She has overcome a painful abused past, shining brightly on the other side having recently been baptized in water with her husband! I have too recently shared a secret that I held for 14 years with her, and I cannot tell you the amount of freedom I feel for doing so! God has continually showed us, through our ups and downs as women, wives and she as a mother, to never lose sight of the fact that God will NEVER leave us or forsake us. We CAN do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. We ARE over comers, we ARE victorious, we ARE worthy of an inheritance. Through our honesty with one another and God’s patience with us as we continue through the fiery trials of life, we WILL share our stories with others to encourage and uplift and continue always to reach toward that high mark of calling by God for our lives. Thank you for your posts and for sharing your heart with so many. Be blessed this Christmastime and always!

  47. Tasha December 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    One of the fiery trials I had to walk through is when I was betrayed and treated as an outcast at my former place of employment. It was a very toxic work enviornment. And because of my standard of living and understanding that I am an ambassador for Christ I had to deal with so many negative views from co workers. I didn’t get involved with their gossip. Some co workers that told me I could come to them for help if I needed help with work. Would then turn around and talk against me and say I didn’t know what I was doing. It was hurtful because I didn’t understand. Why me? What did I do? I keep to myself, I love the Lord, I try to live right and represent Him so that He can be glorified. I ran to hide in Him, to abide even the more in Him. I learned during that fiery season that their thoughts didn’t make me and their thoughts about me won’t break me. The friend that walked with me through this fiery trail, and I got closer with them than ever before. My friend was honestly Jesus. I didn’t have any tangable friends like the three young men but it was because of the season I was in. I do desire to have friends like them. But until then it’s me and Jesus! And I know even when God brings me two friends like the young men, Jesus will still be there! Glory to God!

  48. Risa Rhodes December 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Sharon,
    You and the other ladies have blessed me innumerable times, many of your devotionals touched me or hit home right where I sat. Like this one, we ALL walk thru fire. 2012 was my year of fire, sometimes doubting in my my own God to rescue me, but over and over I beared witness to the grace of HIS people.

  49. Tammy December 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Melanie is my fiery furnace friend.

  50. Nerlie Alexandre December 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    This reminds me of my fiery furnace friend Lorette. She’s always there to pray with a phone call away.

  51. Beth December 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Last Christmas my husband unexpectedly told me that he “is not in love with me anymore”. For months I tried to save my marriage, he refused counseling…This past summer he took the woman he was and is having an affair with on a trip and his affair became public, she was a ‘friend’ of ours. I had been in counseling and had shared what was going on with our pastors but no one really reached out to me (or my husband) from our church. They were kind at church but no one checked on me outside of the church walls. I have felt very alone, angry, sad,….One Sunday, I asked for prayer and the woman who prayed with me that day has been with me as a wonderful christian friend for the past six months. Jena has been and is still with me through the fire. At times when I am having a horrible day or moment I will get a text from Jena with scripture so fitting it seems to come straight from God. Jena has invited me for meals with her family, has gone to lunch and dinner with me,…she ‘puts some skin on it when others have been too uncomfortable or busy to do so. Jena has made sure that my son and I had somewhere to go Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Jena, she is a blessing to me and I am so thankful for her friendship through the fire.

  52. JAN December 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Great devotional,Like always I really enjoy them.

  53. JAN December 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    My Fiery Furnace Friend is Susan Gaugh.

  54. kim williams December 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Pray for my friend Mitzi with cancer

  55. Risa Rhodes December 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    cont from above……I immediately call out my dear friend Lori Faulkner. She walked thru my Mom’s illness with me, praying with me,encouraging me, crying with ,e. God knew what I needed in the strengths he had given to Lori. Lori is my ” I see a need getter done friend”. Never asking for help (Oh God forbide I would ask for help). She would just do. She even visited my Mom and made her laugh out loud 5 days before she passed away, I hadn’t heard her laugh in months. While my story could go on with all the things Lori did. I will close with her last “gift” to me. After Mom passed (in October), she asked if she coul arrange meals, I said “oh no we’ll be fine”. Night 2 a knock on the door came,my first meal delievered by Lori, Night 3 came a knock on the door more food, different friend, this went on for 2weeks, she arranged for meals to be delievered by my circle of friends , Lori knew what I needed even when I did not. She blessed me deeply and ultimately she was right…the food turned out to be huge…one less thing to try and do while I was grieving the loss of my Mom. I am blessed with a great support system of Christian women but none more than Lori Faulkner, she knows me and she gets it done. Thanks Sharon for letting me share about one phenomenal woman! Risa Rhodes, Eugene, Oregon

  56. norma December 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    My friend’s name is Terri. She’s a dear friend who walks with me through trials and the other day we were having lunch together. We both shared and laughed, shed tears. When we walked out, there was no one coming and so right there in the entrance, she prayed for me. Thats her.
    God bless you all – wish you all a blessed Christmas!

  57. kyra Meekins December 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    My fiery trial friend is first , my precious husband, Derek Meekins, then my friend Sonya Wilson. I can always and anytime call my powerhouse mom, DeeAnn Easley.
    Derekmeekins@me.com
    Sonyawilson@comcast.net

    I absolutely love following your blog as well as the devotional on Biblegateway.com. I recently gifted a friend with your new book – Blessings to all that you put your hands to.
    Kyra Meekins

  58. Melissa Peterson December 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is my best friend, Caitlin!

  59. lorena marcotte December 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Thank you sharon. My fiery furnace friend has been my best friend since elementary school. Her name is vanessa lopez.

  60. Terra mavrakos December 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    This was one of the verses that carried me through breast cancer 6 years ago. My dearest friend, really my spiritual sister, was there & lifted me up every time the road became unbearable. Thank you, Marty Carrell. It was such a hard journey, but I got to see God real & up close. That’s a journey I’d never trade.

  61. Terra mavrakos December 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Oh, & did I mention our favorite drink is coffee…she literally carries a big beautiful mug with her everywhere she goes. Her “signature look” I guess you could say.

  62. Dianne December 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    My friend’s name is Karen!

  63. Rametria December 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    This is right on time! I am going through a fiery trial at this very moment. I have been believing God to restore my marriage, my family, and everything else that has been lost in my life that He purposed to be mine. This Christmas I will be spending it alone. No friends. No family. Just myself and the Holy Spirit. I am counting it all joy because my hope is all resting in the Lord! I am believing with all of my being that God is making everything brand new in my life and that He is turning what the enemy meant to harm for me into good!

    My fiery furnace friend is unbelievable! Though I tend to believe that I am a strong Christian, there are some days that I feel like I can’t walk this thing out. At the right moment she always sends a text message, email, or make a phone call and encourage me in the Lord to stay strong! I absolutely LOVE her.

    You could not have said it any better, “Fiery trials come in all shapes and sizes with varying degrees of heat.” This is very true! But thanks be to God for being God and for allowing me to have my fiery furnace friend! “I love you Daneen!”

    Happy Holidays!

    Rametria

  64. Nan December 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    My friend, Jason, has been my “firey furnace” friend. We have been through a lot together and I know I can call him at any time and he will be there for me. I am so blessed to have him in my life.

  65. Kathy Harrison December 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is Donna Traylor.

  66. Roxann December 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Sue Is my friend whom we’ve walked thru many fires together ~ from divorce , death & breast cancer ~~ always praising God and knowing He is walking with us and sometimes even carrying us!!

  67. JoAnne December 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi Sharon- Today has meant so much to me through your devotional. I just had coffee with a girlfriend, and though we aim to meet once or twice a month, it have been quite a few. I found out her faith has really been tested & leaves her wondering. At the end of our coffee she felt restored & so thankful for our time together. I truly hope you, Gwen & Mary are abundantly blessed for being a part of my walk with Christ & restoring my friends through me. Lots of love to you & your families this Christmas.

  68. Kim December 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Fiery furnace friends-Nicole and Patricia

  69. Karen Locklear December 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    My firey friend’s name is Johnnie!!!! She has been right beside me when no one else was. Thru breast cancer and then my husband walking out on me, I can tell her anything and she is just there for me!!!! Love you devotionals!!!!! Merry Christmas

  70. Arlonda December 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Gwen Brown, a strong Woman of Faith, My Friend, and My Mother.

  71. Kim Brillhart December 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Lydia is my fiery furnace friend! She is a beloved co-worker who has recently lost her 27 year old daughter in a motorcycle crash. We spur each other on to good works and to continue loving those “sand paper” people on a daily basis because I know Jesus loves them with His own son’s life.

  72. Deb Welch December 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    After my drummer, Bob’s stroke over 3 months ago, my faith has been tested over and over again. As his power of attorney, I cannot tell you the stress I have been under, but my sister, Donna and my best friend, Andreanna have been unfaltering in sharing God’s word and your Girlfriends in God newsletter. As despondent as I feel, I still give thanks to Jesus in all things and mostly for Donna and Andreanna’s love for me to hold me up with their strength. This has been a life shattering experience and I fear for the future, but I thank God for your posts and for Donna and Andreanna. I can’t thank God enough for these two beautiful souls.

  73. JoAnne December 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    ….and I didn’t leave my friends name, since you asked, is Tessa Gentile. I know she is being tested right now, but I’m glad I’m able to be there for her , because she has been there for me through all my trials. Sorry bout that. …

  74. Joanne December 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Merry Christmas Sharon! This year I went in search of a friend, just like you describe in your
    devotional. The special someone who you can call at a late hour or enjoy a cup of tea with.
    This year I found three! God led me to your website, Girlfriends in God. Although you, Gwen and Mary don’t know it, all three of you have Blessed me by your messages and given a sense of Hope that God finds us that special friend in many different ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  75. Margaret Snyder December 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is Marsha, we share the same birthdate, just many years apart. We take bible study classes together, we go on quilting field trips to gether, we even go to her son’s football games together. She is the one person I can trust with what is going on in my life and in my familly. I think of her as my sister. She has been with me in the good times and in the bad times. She has introduced me to her parents and now it’s like I have another set of parents. I’ve been accepted into their family.

  76. Sue December 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend’s name is Mindy Wynne. She will walk with me whenever I need her and I with her as well. She is a true blessing in my life. I was experiencing many problems in my life and she helped me to restart my walk with God. God has blessed my life with a wonderful family and friends. I am so thankful He is my saviour.

  77. Toni December 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    My Girlies are Sarah & Jona, and what a year we’ve had! I’m moving in a few months and don’t know what I’ll do without them by my side!

  78. Laura Ramirez December 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Several years ago, I awoke in horrible pain but somehow managed to drive to work, Across the street was an urgent care center where an amazing woman working there helped care for me. She covered me with a blanket and I joked “I don’t suppose I can walk 5 miles in 2 days?” She asked where I was walking and I told her to help raise money for Caris Pregnancy Clinics…the money and forms were all in my purse. She had committed to the Lord to walk this particular walk, but had not gotten around to it that year. She took the form/money and did the walk for me while I was in the hospital. She kept me company visiting in the hospital and talking to me for hours on the phone. We’ve been great friends since and she is like my second Mom. Love you Kathi! :)

  79. Alonna Moreno December 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Sharon, thank you for your words of encouragement! I share them with my fiery furnace friends, Joy Vaughn and Staci Noel. These two women are a wonderful gift and treasure. The Lord brought these two women into my life at different times , interestingly enough before I would need to lean on them. May The Lord continue to bless you, Mary and Gwen as you continue to share The Lord’s heart with us.

  80. Justine December 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend (one of them, I’m blessed to have a few!) is my best friend Pam, who no matter what time of day, will take a phone call or just meet for coffee, comforting words and a hug! I was honored to attend Christmas services with her at Greater Grace yesterday in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and I had such a great time! Gloria in Altissimus Deo!! Justine

  81. wendy padget December 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Jennifer Therrell is my friend who walks with me. Her faith is new and I watch in amazement at how Christ shows himself to her through me when I am not even aware! We both walk along and grow in our faith and our friendship. She is a true blessing!

  82. val December 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    I WAS ONE OF THE LONELY A YEAR AGO I WAS MARRIED, SEPARATED (though).

    Today I am blessed I belong to a spirit filled church (LC first). And I can name more than two.
    Just recently I had three friends MELYSSA, BRANDON And JOSEPH PRAY OVER ME. I thank the LORD FOR PLACING SO MANY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST IN MY PATH. Because of them I am able to reach out to others as well. :)

  83. Sondra Hoffman December 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    My special needs Hospice baby (as one of his home care nurses) has his grandma as his care giver. She, Nikki, & I have a bond due to our faith & love in Christ as our Savior. We each have incredible testimonies about our past & now know The Lord well enough to witness to others. The fiery furnace is not killing either of us because God has other things planned out for us to finish first, so we each are walking into the furnace of rejection, loneliness, & serious trials with Jesus.

  84. Billie December 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    My mother is my fiery friend. She is the first one I’ll turn to when needing prayer, and vice versa. I am so grateful to her for raising me in the faith.

  85. Roslyn Wright December 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    My sister is the friend who walks with me. She walks with me, listens to me, rubs my back through the pain and reminds me to breathe and trust in the Sovereignty of my SAVIOR!

    Thank you ladies for this daily devotion that answers to my needs and steps on my toes when needed!

  86. Vickie December 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Hello Sharon; I would like to share the names of my fire refined friends. I am in a new town and in a new church; a whole new life and I have two friends that I can call at anytime to walk through the fire with me. One is in Montana; Cindy, and the other is a old friend that is a Pastor’s wife in northern Oregon; Pam. I can always count on them; I am praying for a new friend here where I am to walk with me also. The fire is not so hot when you have a friend or two to walk with you no matter what! Life is good; but is awesome with Christian friends that will go the distance. Amen! Love and blessings; Vickie
    Merry Christmas! He is alive!

  87. Toni W. December 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I have been tremendously blessed with my fiery sister-friend Natalie aka Peanut. She keeps me accountable yet always loving me as Christ loves literally.

  88. Susan S. December 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend is my neighbor, Alissa; whom I have know for almost 9 years. We met when we were both new to the neighborhood and our children were very young. She has been with me through a very difficult time (the past year and a half) and I am so grateful to have her in my life!

  89. Sharon Wright December 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Hey Sharon, love your page! My fiery friend would be my gal pal, Vivian! I am so Blessed to have her as my friend! And my guy pal, would be my brother, Waymon! They have both been there for the good and the bad, I am truly Blessed Merry Christmas, Sharon W.

  90. Vannary Diep December 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi Sharon. Thank you for writing these daily devotionals. I always start my day with Girlfriends in God. :) My fiery friend is Diana Cervera! I met her in high school and we’ve had a connection ever since. She is a year older than me, and before we graudated high school we joked about being at the same college, but we figured what are the odds on that. We attended the same college! Throughout our undergrad at the University of California, San Diego out friendship grew stronger. After we graduated, we ended up back at our hometown of San Bernardino, CA and thanks to God I had her to vent about post grad feelings. After about half a year to a year, the both of us moved to the Bay Area. Although we have separate lives, doing separate things, God always kept us together in some magical way. She’s my “ride or die,” slang for best friend so to speak. God is good!

  91. Corrine December 24, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    These devos keep me on track when I’m doing the pity me routine. THanks a bunch!

    My mom needs God’s touch & I’ve been praying for her since I became a believer at 13 when listening to someone read 1 Cor 13 replacing love with Jesus. Lifechanging event for me! I am trusting God to change the course of my mom’s life through the fire she’s experiencing now with challenges to her health & relationships.

  92. Yvonne December 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Debbie is my fiery furnace friend. I am recovering from depression. Too much for too long took its toll upon me. Debbie has been a faithful and uplifting friend. I am now her fiery friend. She lost her beloved husband a month ago after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

  93. Kelley December 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    My fiery friend is Retha. We were friends before we knew Jesus and went through MANY a trial. She knows everything about me and still loves me! Now that we are Christians, we can only thank God for putting us together. Trials? Oh, sure…still have them. We are to endure them for a time. But we have Jesus, now. The best thing that God ever gave. Kelley

  94. Maria Lourdes December 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for todays devotion. I at this time am going thru the fiery furnace with a situation regarding my present husband. I have a ex-sister-in-law, who has been at my side with prayer and words of encouragement.I dont have friends that are walking with the Lord. But I consider her my friend, sister in Christ. She is the Best of all I know.

  95. Lola December 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Hi, Sharon.

    Thank you for your devotionals. Was truly blessed by this particular one. My fiery furnace friend goes by the name Kunle. We’ve been through quite a bit together. We’ve been each other’s support system, rock to lean on, and shoulder to cry on. So, so grateful for such a friend. Have another friend, “TT”. Have walked with her through some of her fiery furnace situations, and am grateful to have been able to be there for her. I’m ever so grateful to have her in my life.

    Look forward to many more devotionals from you, Gwen and Mary in the coming year. Thank you for making yourselves available to be used as a blessing unto many. May God continue to use you to touch and change lives, and may His anointing to do so never depart from you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Merry Christmas!!! =)

  96. Barbara December 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Hi Sharon,
    My fiery furnace friend is Jo. She insisted on coming down to the Cardiac ICU while I waited for word on my husband’s 5-way bypass and was right beside me when the doctor announced, after 5-1/2 hours that it was a shame that a young man would be near the end of his life (55), my husband was days away from dying. She was there to back me up even though I knew Jesus was on the other side of me. He is with me now – and I praise God for every day! He still has health issues – but he also was readmitted twice to the hospital with complications and infections, and each time, though the heat was turned up, it did not equal the news that day. God is good and His love is everlasting for sending me a faithful friend like Jo!

  97. Susan Chambers December 25, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Hi Sharon.
    I absoulutly love you and what all you do for us
    I havr been a loner for quit sometime. I met a womon about a year ago er have been solif since
    Not only is she a Christen as I am but we have a lot in common.including our famillys

    Im so glad i have her in my life Iii

  98. Sonya Jefferson December 25, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Mary Sorrentino is my fiery furnace friend. She has been an amazing friend, mentor, coach. For years I prayed that I would find a great Christian woman to be my friend and I was fortunate to have met her.

  99. Yolanda December 25, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    .My fiery furnace friends of 8 years Jill and Susan. God brought them in my life at a bible study at my church named “Girlfriends”.

  100. Sydnee December 25, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Sharon-

    Thanks so much for your post. It is truly a confirming message of what I have learned while being in the fiery furnace these past six minths. My friend, Courtney. whom God knitted me together with has truly been my Shadrach. She stood with me in faith, allowing me to live in her home even when her own finances were challenged. She is a single mom with a beautiful son to care for. She opned up her doors to me in the midst of my trial, prayed for me, fed me and allowed me the time I needed to seek the Lord without hinderance. She believed for me when I didn’t believe. We helped each other overcome., praying and praising ourselves through. We both witnessed the Holy visitaion of the Lord and became sons of thunder on the batttlefield of intercession together. i am forever grateful to the experience and to my friend Courtney, who is a singer songwriter and even penned two songs based on our experience. Mary’s Song and Fire. They have now been recorded by a major recording artist and will be relaesed in 2013. Praise The Lord Jesus Christ. May He be magnified because little did we know, our experience would be sung and heard by the nations!

  101. Rhonda December 25, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    My fiery furnance friend Sharon and she is actually a firefighter. When my families business was destroyed by a Ef5 tornado she was there . I thanked God for her and then this year hit… the heat became very intense. My sister and mother both had cancer surgeries in Feburary., followed by an employee of 20 years embezzling millions of dollars from our small family business in June. In July my sisters house caught on fire and my. friend helped as I juggled cleaning up the financial mess and the fire. In Oct. my motherwho just survived breast cancer had a massive stroke and surgery on Thanksgiving. Now as I begin my role as a caretaker I’m greatful for my friend who took time to visit me in the hospital and encourage me as I prayed for perservance. I thank God for her and for his lessons in faith.. being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

  102. Michelle December 25, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Thank you, Sharon for your readings each and everyday, I want to send thanks and prayers too the other women whom are an inspiration as well. I have been througha fiery furance and God has sent many and i love them all, but of the three have been Catherine Mcgivney, Kimberly Pickney and Maureen Duda ,Stephanie White and Belinda Wise-Bey am sorry but these women have been with me walking with me, listening, praying and loving me and i am returning the same love back

    I GIVE GOD ALL THE PRAISE WITHOUT HIM AM NOTHING…I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME

  103. Mary Oyler December 25, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    Hi Sharon! Thank you for the encouragement! My fiery furnace friend is my best friend Lisa. We have walked through many fiery furnaces sometimes I was in the fire and sometimes her but praise God for His faithfulness we always came through stronger than we went in!

  104. Shirley K December 25, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    I thank you so much for your daily devotionals. They are encouraging and inspiring me to keep going and trusting our Lord Jesus and His word that He will never leave me nor forsake me! My fiery furnace is the loss of my dear husband of 25 wonderful years who I lost from an accident and two days later he was gone. I have two dear fiery furnace friends, Linda and Dot who have been right there for me and gently loving me through this terrible grief leaving a deep hole inside. They encourage me to keep walking and trusting Jesus to be my husband. There are days that are very hard and I continue to call them and pray with them. I have a wonderful brother, Gary, who is a Pastor and I can call him anytime too and I vent to him and he encourages me in the word and to keep looking inward to the Holy Spirit to guide, lead, feed, heal, encourage and to continue to become the person who God wants me to be for Him..To shine and lead others to Him! Praise His Holy Name! I pray that He will bless all of them back for all that they have been to me through this! Thank you Sharon for all of your words of encouragement and growth! Bless you!

  105. Sarah December 25, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Another amazing and timely encouragement, like all the articles I read from Girlfriends in God each day. Thank you for your passion and obedience to God’s calling.

    My fiery furnace friend is Ann, a woman who has taught me more than anyone about unconditional love and relying on God for strength.

  106. Kaye Omdahl December 25, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    My fiery furnace friend is Kathy. She is our former Pastor’s wife. Our kids spent lots of time together. Through the years, we’ve encouraged each other through many trials. We remain good friends to this day. Even though we don’t see each other very often, Kathy will call me on a day when I seem to need a word of encouragement. I praise God for His faithfulness in both our families!!

  107. Ginny Pokorny December 25, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    My friend is Linda. The Lord used her to save me from depression.

  108. Monica December 25, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    My fiery furnace. Friend is my best friend Veronica. We have always been there for eachother and I feel like I can count on her more then anyone and trust her with my life! I thank god for putting an amazing person like her in my life. I am truly blessed to have her and after every talk I have with her I always feel better and look at things a little differently. I especially love our talks about our faith. When ever I start to feel lost our talks help a whole lot.

  109. Bree December 25, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    My fiery furnace friend is Kristen. We met this past summer while doing an online Bible study.

  110. Christie December 25, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    I’m truly blessed to have a fiery furnace girlfriend is named Kristen. We both live with chronic pain and chronic illness and she is a huge support and encouragement to me! God gave me a wonderful gift by allowing me to have her as a friend!

  111. Sharon K. December 25, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    My fiery furnace friends are my mother Dorothy, my biological and spiritual sister Vanessa, and my sistah girlfriend in the faith Michele. God was beyond gracious in giving me these women to uplift my arms and spirits along this life path. So on this Christmas morning 2012, I thank God for not only the gift of Christ, but for the gift of these fiery furnace friends with whom I gladly walk through life’s fires. Iron sharpening Iron. May we continue uplifting each other through and across heaven’s finish line! I love each of you.

  112. Pat Gerbrandt December 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    God connected Darlene and me when she was eager to grow in her knowledge of Him. Not long after, her fiery trials began and have intensified. In all this, Darlene rejoices in God’s faithfulness. The young woman I began mentoring in the faith now teaches me, and encourages me. She is also an inspiration to many in our church. When I encountered the first of two fiery ordeals, Darlene was quick to offer her support. She may be tiny in stature and of limited physical health but she stands firm in God’s strength.

  113. Kim December 26, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    This really hit home. When God spoke to my heart and urged me to step out of a relationship that was pulling me from Him, it was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. My wedding was only 4 months away and God was asking me to call it off. The first person I reached out to was my fiery friend Leisha. We’ve been there for each other through so many losses and trials in life. We both know that the other will be there with love and support and without judgement to guide each other on God’s path.

  114. Elisha December 26, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Hi Sharon and ladies.

    I had read many of the wonderful fiery furnace woman you ladies have shared as your friends. In many of your life stories I find bits and pieces where my story fits as well.

    My first fiery best friend is Tashel, Tatia and Nola. Tashel knows more about me and is willing to share the hard stuff with me as well. We’ve been best friends since we were little and although she moved away 2 years ago and we barely talk, I still consider her my best friend. I miss our friendship so much. Tatia is a new friend in Christ who is listens. And Nola has always been my best friend. we were really close as kids and since finding out a few years ago that she is a Christian has made us closer.

    In June of ’12 I moved from southern CA to Minneapolis, mn, with my fiancé (he was promoted) and I am in dental hygiene school.

    The summer I had was one of the hardest times I my life, I had never felt more alone than ever before. I was away from all I knew; friends and family. I prayed what felt like never before for God to rescue me from this sadness. I knew I might fall into depression and fought those sad feelings everyday. I was in tears about the feelings I had. Other than my fiancé who tried to help, the only other familiarity I found was an air1 christian radio station. I listened to them non-stop. I called “x Christian radio” until they told me not to call anymore, that they were there to help me get connected in my area, not for me to call on to “talk” with someone regularly (I literally only called 3 times). This broke my heart, what if I was on the edge? What if I was the person who would end their life? I wasn’t but what if? I couldn’t believe I was told this after listening to them for so many years. I know this is immature, but I chose to stop listening to them. (I decided not to disclose who they are on account that they do help so many people and families).

    On the air1 radio station, I called and a guy picked up. Right before I called the guy mentioned something about how air1 is always there for anyone who needs someone to talk to, to pray for/with. I shared with this man about the move, the loneliness that had made a home in my heart, that achy feeling I couldn’t get rid of that I prayed everyday for God to remove.
    How at work I hid it, pretended I was fine, but that I’d cry as soon as I left. Nothing was familiar, I was afraid to find a church as we hadn’t found a home yet and was living in a hotel. I was afraid to get close to anyone. The guy mentioned something to me, to remember that feeling of wanting to be known, wanting a friend even though I didn’t reach out afraid of being rejected for appearing I be needy because there are others who feel the same way but may never express that feeling. He said just the wanting someone to spend time with someone is hard to find esp when moving to a new place. He briefly shared that when he moved to ca from another state, he too felt the same way.

    I had called my family a couple times this summer to no avail. I thought they would tell me they loved me and that it would be ok and that they missed me. Instead I was told to find a church (that I knew) and immediately find friends. Although I can talk to almost anyone about anything even strangers, I’m still shy when I meet new people esp at church.

    This is where God showed me through my friend how much he cared. Nola, who I have known since I was a little girl lived 4 hours from my new hotel home. She turned around and drove those four hours to visit me this summer.

    Although I consider Tashel my best friend, Nola is the friend who was there and actually took time away from work and made a weekend free out of her super busy schedule so she could visit with me.

    Through this move/transition God has been seriously the one, the only one who was there for me, he reminded me that in my dark moments, he was there, through the pain, he was there. And although I don’t have a friend I call up anytime to chat, I believe God has them currently unavailable/busy for the time being so I would call upon him.

    We moved into our new home in Aug and those feelings of loneliness ceased to exist as powerful as they were shorty after the phone call to air1. I still get those feelings, but they’re not as bad.

    On October 31st, weird sensations came over the left side of my body. I went to the ER that evening and learned, I at age 27 & pretty healthy, had a small acute embolic stroke. Instead of questioning God, “why?”, which is unusual for me, I pretty much jokingly complain about my circumstances, I was at peace, all alone in the hospital, I knew no one, my fiancé went home because I told him too. (He had lots of work the next day.) All alone, but I never felt alone. And for whatever reason I didn’t think of it until the next day that I had felt God’s peace and comfort throughout the whole night. (I felt him with me the whole 2.5 days I was there, I mean literally there).

    Out of the few people I knew, one person I never thought to visit me was an instructor from my school. She too is a Christian with more strict morals than I. I was totally blown away since a few girls from school said they’d visit and never did.

    Although it turns out I had many people praying for me, (more that I keep hearing about), I can’t discount how God is my best friend who came to be with me like those three jewish boys in the book of Daniel.

    I am saddened by my actions that while he is always there for me, I don’t even give him the time of day most days. I treat him how some of my not so good friends treat me (failing to acknowledge him daily).

    I have never been the type of person who has had many friends, but the ones I do have, I would never give them up to be the popular girl that has many friends. Although I still struggle with feeling lonely, God is who I complain ;) and call upon and then I go to my friends. He is always there when I call.

    I know this is super long, but I felt I should share this. God bless you ladies and I’m thankful you all have a fiery furnace friend :)

  115. Kate Walsh December 26, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    the place I would love to “be still” would be a forest I don’t know where this is http://www.flickr.com/photos/evergreen2005/2546785783/ but I hope you like it =0)

  116. Janet Lockhart December 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Thank you so much for your obedience to God in being part of GIG . I thoroughly enjoy my morning devotions with you all! I am very blessed to have great support from a group of my own GIG. In 1996 I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition called scleroderma . I had two young children and a wonderful husband. The form that I was diagnosed with is the most severe type and there was a chance it would end up taking my life. But god had other plans! He put some of the most amazing women to stand by (and with)me.
    My one friend in particular-Dianna- was my rock, she loved me so! She was also the person instrumental in leading me to the Lord five previously. It is amazing how Gods timing and plans are perfect . I went forward one Sunday at church with my GIG by my side for healing. Here I am 16 years later and doing better than my doctors ever predicted. So much good has come from this ………that is another story. All of this because one of Gods daughters was obedient and took the time to love me!
    Thank you again
    Janet

  117. Liz Stokes December 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Good morning Sharon! I hope you had a great Christmas! My fiery furnace friend is my sister, Laura. My husband died 2 days before Christmas in 1976. My sister let me stay with her. I returned the favor when my sister’s husband died in 1988. She had one toddler and a newborn, and I took care of them while she attended nursing school. I am so blessed and thankful to have a sister like her!

  118. Marianne December 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I was so blessed by your message on being still and knowing God. that is the hardest part for me,being still! This year I want to learn how to be still and just be with my Lord. I miss the time I used to spend with Him. This was a timely word!! thank you!!

  119. Diane Guy December 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    My fiery furnace friend Alice was tragically killed last year in May. Three months later, my son died. I keep praying for another friend like Alice. We went through so many things together. As I know I will always have a friend in God, I keep praying for a friend here on earth to share, laugh and cry with. Thanks for your ministry in Girlfriends in God. God Bless You and help me to pray for another fiery furnace friend!

  120. Sally December 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    When my Mom was living in the land of dementia she was confused and afraid a lot of the time. She had been admitted to the hospital and was extremely fearful.
    That morning my verse of the day was Isaiah 43:2, I knew without a doubt I was to give that to my Mom :
    When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    This calmed her like no medicine could I do not know where her mind took her but God did and gave her comfort. It also helped me through those dark difficult years.Thank you for reminding me of it.

  121. Maureen Barnett December 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    My Fiery Furnace Friend is Tracy! When I have something I can’t face alone she is there and I can call on her anytime and we pray together. My husband had the toes on his right foot removed in 2010, he had the toes on his left foot removed in Apr. 2012 and then in Sept. 2012 the 19th he had his left leg removed below the knee, she was my encourager in the days that followed and still occur.

  122. Lisa December 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I have a few friends who always walk through the fiery furnace with me (Nancie, Sandy, Sandi, Mary, and Lynn) without them I could not make it and especially without my bestest friend whom is my Savior Jesus Christ

  123. Lakesha December 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    I have one main friend I call upon when I need a faith pick me up. Her name is Kasandra. We met in 2005 when our families were stationed together in TX with the Air Force. She is such a God fearing, sweet, caring, lovely, beautiful, giving, humble, outstanding woman of God. It feels like we have known each other forever. Our families have since moved on to our different bases but we still keep in touch. She is more than a friend to me, she is my sister.

  124. Michelle December 27, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Starbucks card or not, I thank God for the gift He brought to me in my friend, Amanda. She prays with me, for me, is ever thoughtful to me, and I have a bit of new life in me when I’m with her.

  125. Tiffany Owens December 27, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    My boyfriend Nicholas is my fiery furnace friend. He’s always there for me when I need him and he’s always praying for me when I need him to.

  126. Mariann December 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    My fiery friend is Nancy. We know the good, the bad and the ugly about each other. She will tell me the truth, even if it is a hard truth. And we encourage each other in our walk and trusting God journey. I am so thankful to have her in my life.

  127. Luane December 29, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I got to finally read your devotions tonight first of all Merry Christmas to you all.Its woderful to know and share the glory of God with so many sisters in Christ! My fiery friend is my oldest daughter Judy , she is a beautiful young lady with much insight of the truth and Our Lord Jesus. No matter what catastrafy is at hand she always sees the real mission to show the glory of our Lord beiging revealed.She keeps my feet rooted in the truth and Im so blessed to have her in my life ! Thank you sweet Jesus. May God continue to Bless us all! Happy New Year may we all glorify the Lord and King JESUS this new year! A devoted servant Luane Ross

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