I have heard the story my whole life, the very earliest performed for me by kind Sunday School teachers on flannel boards. We got a little deeper into the theology behind the tale by the time I was in Junior High and High School, learning about doing what was right even when it was hard and went against the crowd. I have even done an in-depth Bible study on the entire book of Daniel as an adult.
However, in all that time, it never, until about a week ago, occurred to me how I would behave if thrown into a lions’ den. I knew that Daniel had been totally full of faith. He had to have been because he had continued to pray with his windows open even after it became illegal. Even right there is where old Daniel and I might part ways. As faithful as I hope I am, would I really have kept my windows open? “Um, I’m praying on the inside God, you can hear my prayer thoughts…”
But if I were to be thrown into the den, I realized I would most definitely not be as calm as Daniel. I know this because of other experiences in my life. I will have God tell me in some way to trust Him, that He is going to take care of me and the circumstances I am in. Do I joyfully say, “Great God, glad I don’t have to think about that anymore!” No, I tend to continue to fret, thinking through every possible scenario and outcome with some anxiety thrown in for good measure.
And so that is the picture I have of myself in the lions’ den. Instead of cuddling up to a nice furry lion and peacefully sleeping, I would be huddled in the corner continually checking to see if the lions had changed their minds. But what I am really asking is if God has changed His mind.
I am so grateful that God does not change! He is always with us, no matter how sharp those lions’ teeth, how dark the night or how fierce the enemies. It is up to me to choose to believe Him, and even then He promises to help us believe. My goal is to get to the place where I can rest secure wherever I may be, whatever the circumstances of my life might be, even if it is sleeping in the den of lions.
“At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?’ Daniel answered, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent His angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.'” Daniel 6:19-22