I’ve been mulling over this topic and know I need to finish it up and move on to the next exciting season of the blog (a book series! yay!) But with the postpartum season being so new and raw, it’s been hard for me to see and know how God was bringing glory to Himself. Everything just hurt so much – my body, mind, soul and spirit. But God is faithful, and He has, through my Bible study of Daniel, brought truth to my heart that I can hopefully encourage you with.
Daniel took action : “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” (Daniel 11:32, ESV). This is a key passage in Daniel, reminding us that we are not to sit and wait for God to act, we are to join Him in the acting. In knowing Him, in following Him. True, it is a discipline to seek His face, but I’ve seen that in every small step of pressing in, there are golden nuggets pushing me on to know Him more. You will find this too – do not become weary and give up…for in due time He will lift you up! And it will fuel your heart to trust Him in the waiting, as He works behind the scenes to glorify Himself and care for you.
Daniel cared for his body : This is not an advertisement for the Daniel plan (haha), but it is interesting to note that for whatever reason (most likely the avoidance of food offered to idols) Daniel followed his conscience and ate what he thought would make him most healthy. As I have said many times, the body, mind and soul are so interconnected, it is no surprise that for whatever reason – physical, spiritual, or mental, Daniel’s choice made him literally shine for God.
Daniel cared for his mind : Daniel was not too proud to resist the education provided for him by the king. All truth is God’s truth, and most certainly his mind was strengthened as it was exercised, even under the care of ungodly people. We too can learn from this – reading, thinking, loving God with all our mind. God requires that we seek Him in the word, of course – and I’m sure that Daniel was studying the portion of Scripture that was available to him at that time. I’m sure much of it was hidden in his heart as well!
Daniel cared for his soul : Daniel’s courage is displayed so beautifully when He chooses to pray, despite the fact that His life is on the line. In comparison, it often feels soul-crushing, in my experience, to continue to follow God when times are hard. How can we trust Him when everything in our lives swirl, discourage, and make us want to run to the other team? But Daniel disciplined himself to continue in communication with the God who had never failed him, and God was glorified!
Daniel honored God : Time and again, Daniel pointed to Christ with his humility. If you look closely at the first few chapters, notice how he is never desirous of the gifts and honor he is offered – that is not his motivation. I have to believe that this humility is a large part of why God was glorified, the kings and people of the land turned to the Most High God (at least for a time – oh how slow we are to learn! [sigh]. )
Daniel was courageous : Many times Daniel’s life was on the line, but He believed so strongly in his God (or maybe his knees were shaking and he was pleading for mercy behind the scenes, we don’t know). Courage is not always a feeling of strength to believe, not very often actually! Courage is looking fear in the face, leaning into God, and walking forward anyway. The strength of God will always be displayed in this, in our weakness and wobbly knees.
Daniel was honored : despite the fact that Daniel resisted the desire of the kings to honor him for every interpretation given of dreams, writing on the wall, etc., God was determined to bless him, I’m confident. And he will bless us too, as we wait patiently on Him. This spiritual principle, though it doesn’t happen in our timing, is a promise we can take to the bank, His bank of great riches in Christ. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:2, ESV)
Others grew and benefitted as well : As we have struggled in the past months (wondering when this season of ‘growth’ will end!), we have seen how our struggles have encouraged others, given them reasons to pray fervently, serve us, and give of their resources. I KNOW this honors God. We have to choose to accept these prayers, gifts and service, which can be hard at times (re: pride!). But as we humble ourselves and offer ourselves to the body we are in and the family and friends that care for us, they receive the blessing of growing closer to God and giving of what God has given them. We’re all in this together and that brings God great glory when we act like the church! A body of love and service. We long for the time when we can give back more, but until then, we rejoice in the ways we have seen this passage come to fruition: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)
With grateful hearts and hands held high in worship to the great King and Holy God….
More in this series ::
Intro :: A way through the darkness – into the light
part two :: What the darkness taught (and is teaching) me
part three :: Loving well breaks the darkness (and a thank you!)