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“They Didn’t Even Smell of Smoke!”

SmokeDaniel 3:27 (NLT) “Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”

One thing we encounter a lot when helping couples get through their marriage troubles is the feeling of despair. Very often we will hear a husband, a wife, or both express to us that they just don’t see how they can ever get past what has happened to their marriage. There may have been affairs, abuse, or some other type of betrayal that has cut them to their very core and it has made it nearly impossible for them to believe that their marriage could ever be whole again. And even though they are attempting to save their marriage they are also wrestling with the agonizing question of, “will I have to live with this pain for the rest of my life?”

It’s hard for people to believe that anyone could ever get past such deep pain. I know because there was a time I thought the same thing. There was a time, before we went through our own marriage crisis, I couldn’t imagine going through that much pain and living to tell about it. And I certainly never imagined I could go through that much pain and yet stay in my marriage and see it completely healed. 

I think for a lot of people it is just assumed when a marriage goes through something very traumatic, the pain will never completely go away. On a few occasions I have even had someone say to me after everything I have been through in my own marriage I must still feel some pain from it. But to their surprise I always answer, “no, I don’t feel any pain from our past.” I tell them, “if it wasn’t for our ministry and for our testimony purposes, I would never even think of what we have been through in our past.” I also tell them, “God has completely healed us and our marriage and now we don’t even have the smell of smoke on us.” After I use the phrase “smell of smoke” I often get a puzzled look as if to say, “what does that mean?”

Perhaps you’re asking the same thing.

The phrase comes from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, friends of Daniel, written in the book of Daniel chapter three. When these three young men refused to bow down and worship a golden image that the king of Babylon had ordered everyone to worship, they were thrown into a fiery furnace to be executed. But because of their faith in God and their refusal to compromise they were delivered from the fire. And when they came out of the fire, verse 27, the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”  

When these three men came through their trial and test of their faith there was no evidence that they had even been in a fire. They were completely unharmed by the fire as if they had never been in a fire. So that is why I use the phrase “smell of smoke,” referring to our marriage crisis and what God has done to bring us through it. There is no evidence in our marriage today to suggest we had ever been in a crisis (fire).

I know this is not the case for everyone. Many times I meet people who have been through some things in life and I can tell there is something about them that suggest their life has been difficult, they seem to carry a certain smell on them.

Maybe their marriage has been through some tough times and now they carry the smell of, “my spouse has done me wrong.” Maybe they have been through a divorce and now they carry the smell of, “I’m a divorcee, I’ve been rejected.” Some people have been through financial trouble like bankruptcy or a loss of a business and then they carry a smell of, “I’m a failure.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our God is able to bring us through these things and give us complete restoration and healing from anything that life can throw at us, if we will let Him. When we give ourselves completely to the Lord and trust Him to bring us through life’s trials, we can come out on the other side of those trials without the “smell of smoke” even when what we are going through doesn’t turn out the way we want it to.

Our pastor has often said, “a boat can go through any storm as long as the water doesn’t get in the boat.” And that’s the key, we can survive the storms of life and come out unharmed as long as we don’t let the storms get inside us. I know that sounds difficult, especially if you are the one in the middle of a storm right now. And if it were left up to you and me it would be impossible for us to go through these fiery trials and not get burned.

But as believers in Christ we have to know we have a power that is living inside us that is not limited to our human abilities. As Christians, we have resurrection power living inside us everyday. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is now living inside each of us who believe and follow Christ. So we should always be encouraged that no matter what we face in life, in Christ we have overcoming victory through it all.


Have you been through a tough trial and experienced God bringing you through it unharmed? We would love to hear your testimony, so feel free to leave us a comment.

Or if you are going through a tough trial right now and you would like for us to agree with you in prayer that you too can come through this unharmed, we would love to do so. Just leave us a comment or contact us privately via email, Facebook messages, or Twitter messages.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the precious thoughts in your blog post. He gives beauty for ashes. He is so amazing. The Church has a done a lot to help people cope, and while that been a kindhearted thing to do, God is a Restorer of broken walls. He is the one who makes all things new.

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