During times of high stress, many default to self-preservation mode. We become vigilant in guarding what we think we can control, often to the point of distraction. In this unbalanced focus, our weaknesses develop undercurrents that press against us and one another. Friction arises, thinning the protective gloss we layered upon layer to keep us feeling put together and in control. Such is the cycle of stress. Such is today.
We are living in a time that will be studied in history books. Children will one day answer test questions about COVID-19 and the impact the virus had on humanity – from the loss of convenience to the loss of life. They will know how this turns out, having read about our experiences just enough to fulfill their curiosity or to get a grade. But we do not know the full impact – how this all turns out – because the time is now.
In the book of Daniel, we see an example of how God remains closer than our circumstances. Daniel chose to remain faithful to God, which led him to a lion’s den and the likelihood of death. Daniel kept his trust in God, recognizing that even when his circumstances had changed, God had not changed. Rather than focusing on what he could control, Daniel found protection and peace in the One in control.
Like the students who will one day read about COVID-19, we have the luxury of knowing the outcome of Daniel’s story in the lion’s den. “And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in God” (Daniel 6:23). The mouths of lions were shut.
When we read the Bible, it is easy to not give credit to Daniel’s faith because we know he survived intact. Daniel, however, did not know if he was going to live or die. He had cultivated an intimate knowing of God – a loyal love. And whether God chose to rescue him to earthly life or death, Daniel “got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God, just as he had done before” (vs. 10). In doing so, his focus became steady and reinforced by faith and hope.
When this time is written, how will our response be recorded? As a time of courage and trust, kneeling before God in prayer and thanksgiving? Or as a time we succumbed to the temptation of complaint, selfish desire and worldly conformity? Are we willing to “hold firm to the faith we profess” and leave the outcome to God? (Hebrews 4:14.)
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
May the blessing of God’s protection and peace rest upon you, stilling the undercurrents of weakness that tempt our focus to respond outside of faith to our fears and circumstance. God is with us. May His love be our response. And the mouths of lions be shut.
SGLY, dear reader.
(Smile, God Loves You.)
Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian Author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.