Where have the good times gone? Who should I blame for the terrible things that have happened in my life, my family, my city, my country? These kinds of thoughts are common to all of us. The answers we arrive at, have the power to trap us in bitterness and hate, or to move us forward into a better place.
Daniel, a prince from Judah, surely had these thoughts, when he and his three friends were captured and taken to Babylon. Daniel was between the age of 16 and 20; he and his friends were in pain, after losing family, losing their country, and forced to serve the man who conquered them, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
It is amazing that Daniel 1:19-21 (God’s Word Translation) says: “The king… found no one like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah… Whenever the king asked them about things that required wisdom and insight, he found that they knew ten times more than all the magicians and psychics in his whole kingdom. Daniel served the royal palace until the first year of King Cyrus of Persia.”
Daniel rendered excellent service to King Nebuchadnezzar for 40 years. His life was threatened many times but he survived and excelled. How was this possible? What was his anchor that kept him grounded during troubled times? Over and over, the book of Daniel shows us that it was his unshakable trust in Yahweh.
As Christians, we respond to pain, by holding on closer to Yahweh; not by hitting back with hate at the people we blame for our pain. God of Heaven, teach us how to be Daniels in the world today, Amen!