Gen. John B. Hood – Firm in our faith
Daniel 3:15-18 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
General Hood, a Confederate leader, was assigned to pass through Devil’s Den, a rocky and difficult terrain, in order to attack the Union from its left flank. Although he disagreed with his orders, Hood undertook the ambitious assault and aggressively attacked the Union position. Unfortunately, he fell victim to artillery explosion, resulting in a severely wounded left arm.
Later at Chickamauga, Gen Hood led the breakthrough at the Brotherton Cabin, routing out most of the Union army in the area. During the fight, Hood was shot in the leg, leading to its eventual amputation.
After these battles, Lieutenant General Polk and General Hood discussed their future battles plans. The conversation quickly shifted to spiritual topics, as they often did with General Polk. In the midst of this conversation, Gen Hood felt moved to ask Gen Polk to baptize him. That night, Polk baptized Hood in front of his troops against the background of artillery fire. Envision this – Hood’s soldiers watching their one-legged, injured leader leaning on crutches, surrendering his life, and affirming his faith in Jesus… despite his circumstances.
Similarly, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego affirmed their faith in dire circumstances. When confronted with the fiery furnace and potential death, they responded with “But even if…”
We are often faced with various trials, challenges, and life-altering circumstances that lead to a choice… to withdraw from our faith in bitterness/sadness/fear or to respond with a “but even if…” James 4:8 reminds us that as we draw close to God, he draws close to us. We aren’t promised an easy battle, but we are promised a faithful Father who will walk through these trials with us. Circumstances don’t define us – the rock that is Higher than us does. (Psalm 61).
Prayer: Lord – May we stand steadfast and firm on you, our rock and ever constant friend. May our response always be of trust in you. Amen.