Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

Monday, August 1, 2011

The lion's den?

I like to walk in the mornings. I go down to the river and spend about an hour walking, praying, listening. It's always a great way to start the day. I watch the squirrels chase each other and the geese as they protect their young. I listen to the birds and watch the fish jump. I thank God for the beauty of His creation. Afterwards, I usually spend some time with my Bible and a notebook, in which I record my prayers and anything I feel God is saying to me that day. Sometimes I do this at the river, and sometimes I go home and sit on my back patio with a cup of coffee.

A few mornings ago, I was out on my patio in the swing with my coffee and Bible. I opened my Bible and found myself in the book of Daniel. Daniel chapter 6 to be exact. And there I read the story of how Daniel was betrayed by his fellow administrators. They plotted his downfall, and got King Darius to issue an edict that anyone who prayed to a god other than King Darius be thrown into the lions den. See, they knew that Daniel was a man of God. They knew that he prayed regularly and that he was "trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent." They didn't want him around. These men went to the king and told him that Daniel was still praying to God, despite the decree...and even though the king didn't want to do it, he had to follow his own decree and send Daniel to the lions den.

As Daniel was thrown into the lions den and the entrance was sealed, the king said to him, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" We see that the king spent a restless night, refusing food and entertainment. He couldn't sleep. First thing in the morning, he ran to the den to see what had happened to Daniel. And when he called out to Daniel, Daniel answered him!! Daniel told him that God had sent his angel to close the mouth of the lions. They did not hurt him because he was innocent in God's eyes.

And here's the verse that jumped out at me: "The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Because he had trusted in his God. Because he had God!!! He trusted.

What personal lions den do you face? What gaping opening is right before you that seems like it will swallow you whole? I have one. I am facing an uncertainty in my future that leaves me weak and shaking if I think about it too much. But I am being thrown into it whether I want it or not...much like Daniel. Circumstances are my "coworkers" and the lions are ravenous. Daniel was human, like you and me. He had to have felt some fear that make him shake a little, sweat a the thought of facing down those lions. But Daniel trusted God. He knew that God is bigger and stronger than any lion. He knew that God spoke words and the world came into being. He knew that God breathed life into Adam and Eve. He knew that God holds everything in His hands. And Daniel trusted. And God sent his angel to take care of him. Daniel came out of the lions den unharmed.

We can learn a lesson from Daniel. Trust. Look those lions in the eye and trust in God to be there, to send His angels to close the mouths of the lions. Trust. Live your life for God, and trust Him.

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