I can’t be the only one completely overwhelmed and disheartened by the constant barrage of headlines and News reels that have filled the past couple of weeks. It’s just so upsetting to live in a world that inhabits so much chaos and turmoil.
Everyone believes they have the right answers, but no one really knows what to do aside from fight and debate about it online. What else can we do? We feel helpless to the mess.
I write about this often because I find myself in this place often. I find myself feeling so lost in the frightening reality that humanity is perishing. It feels like I’m in a whirlpool, spinning and spinning trying to grip the edge to find some steady, only to miss the edge and get sucked into the center.
What can we do?
My husband said something to me that gave me such perspective in the midst of my rant to him on how confused and depressed I was about what I was seeing in the News. He said, “Think of Daniel, and what he had to go through. Think of what was going on at that point in history. Daniel didn’t seem to concern himself with all of the enormous, fearful things he had no control over. But he dedicated himself to prayer and was faithful in the place God had him. Remember?”
Right. Yes I remember.
This is, by the way, why I married my husband.
Yes, lets all think about Daniel for second. After Babylon attacked Jerusalem, Daniel was taken into exile. Horrible. Can you imagine? Abruptly he had to live with the people who plundered his home and somehow he had to remain faithful to his God-given Jewish identity while being pressured to conform to the Babylonian way of life. They wanted him to bow to idols, eat unclean food and worship the King. What was he to do?
What we see in the book of Daniel is a man’s unwavering devotion to God, even when his very life was in danger. He was faithful to the call of God to live in obedience to the Word at great risk to himself. But Daniel was successful in obedience and he gave himself to prayer. And what he experienced in the process was the mighty hand of God protecting him through it all. Yes, God allowed Daniel’s capture, which means it didn’t always go well for him, but with Daniels trust in God came God’s protection.
Listen, I can only imagine Daniels thought-life was a battle ground. He was not an infallible man, which means I’m sure there was inner struggle and confusion. However his outer life remained devoted and unwavering to the Ancient Of Days.
Daniel must have been utterly convinced that the God he served was absolutely in control even in the midst of the worlds current chaos.
What a guy! The enduring reverence of Daniel…how I desire but a fragment of it.
When we look at this regular man from Jerusalem and the story God told with his life, we must learn and look and remember what it tells us about our Father in heaven. Learn, look and remember what it speaks of the world we inhabit.
The book of Daniel shockingly is meant to be a book of hope. Hope that leads to obedience. Which is exactly what the Christian life is. Daniel exhibits this wonderfully even though he didn’t have the full revelation of this hope, like we do. Unlike Daniel, we know the fullest extent of this hope. And because of this, we should have the same kind of perseverance and unwavering obedience.
The kind of obedience that puts boots on the ground even when we’re weary of the good fight. Obedience that reach’s out to those in need and shares the love of Christ. God requires us not to fix all the big problems mankind faces, but to remain faithful right where he has us. Steadfast and resolute in action right here…right where you and I are…right now.
I have my corner of the world to deal with and the troubles it faces pales in comparison to that of Babylon. And yet you and I have our own Babylon to navigate and the struggle to remain faithful in it is a generational battle, no matter the geographical placing. But do I pray like Daniel? Am I just as obedient in the face of it?
“Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.” ~ Daniel 10:12
If this tells us anything about who God is, it’s that He wants us to set our heart on Him and humble ourselves in prayer. The promises He made to Daniel aren’t necessarily going to be the same for us today. However God never changes. And here we see what pleases Him. Daniel cried out to his Father in a time of uncertainty. And there is no doubt He wants us to do the same. He wants to hear His people – as He heard Daniel.
God was sovereign over humanity and the globe when Daniel lived and died and He’s sovereign still. It won’t always go well for us, there is likely to be suffering. But Jesus is on His throne and our hope is secure.
May this comforting knowledge be our food in these times of consternation. When the whirlpool starts spinning…think of Daniel.