King Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem and took with him all the beautiful women and wise men. He was known for allowing the poor to stay behind and take over whatever was left. Smart man, since all those left behind would be grateful for having their life spared. Anyway, one of the wise men that the King took was Daniel.
Daniel and his friends (Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego) were appointed by the King to be on his staff of advisors. While the four of them were still able to pray to God, they were face to face with an army of people who had no belief in God and made reckless choices for the kingdom. Yet God called them to work in this hostile environment bringing some good to a very wicked government. Even though King Nebuchadnezzar tried to make Daniel and his friends seem like the Babylonians (he even gave them new names to fit it), they never quite fit in. I am sure it was obvious to all the other advisors that these men were different.
Though Daniel and his friends would endure many struggles during this calling from God, they would prove to be the turning point back to the promise land for God’s people. They would be set on fire (only to withstand the burn and live), thrown into a lion’s den for praying to their God (only to come out of the den alive and well), and watch their own people walk back to the promise land (while they stay back and continue their work for God).
God calls us all to do things that seem impossible. Sometimes we cannot even see the good we are accomplishing because there is so much bad around us. Yet God calls us to do these difficult tasks, why? Just like Daniel who faced a kingdom filled with evil, without Daniel it would have been worse. We too are faced with a world of demands and needs that cannot be met by God, but we are called into that world to make baby steps of progress.
If you are struggling at your job, your volunteer project, or even your calling as a parent, ask for God’s help. If you do all things with the wisdom that God has given you, you can accomplish anything. Daniel was face to face with the impossible – somehow changing the heart of King after King after King – until finally one of the kings releases the people from exile. Daniel never stopped praying and conversing with God because he knew this was the only way he could make it through his daily life. He relied on God. When he was told he was not allowed to pray, he did so anyway. When he was punished and thrown into the lion’s den – who did he call on? God.
Daniel had an incredible relationship with God. We all can have that same relationship, but we have to be open to God’s calling and willing to be content with making baby steps of progress.
Are you ready for that?