Daniel, John the Baptist, and Your Storms
Over the last couple of months I have had two things floating around in the back of my head. One has to do with John the Baptist (Luke 7:18-23), the other with Daniel (Daniel 6). Both of these stories have to do with storms in their ministry, and I believe that they speak to all of us involved in ministry leadership today. These stories may or may not apply to you today, but they will. If you are pursuing a God-given calling to minister to people, you will experience storms… and there is hope to be had in the midst of them.
Daniel: Being Ready For Your Storm
The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is one of the classics of the flannel board. While we all understand that basic concept of the story… that Daniel, a servant of God, is a successful administrator in the Kingdom of Darius. His success results in other administrators growing envious, and looking for a way to get rid of him (this never happens anymore). His enemies set a trap from him, resulting in Daniel being reluctantly thrown into the lion’s den by Darius. Daniel survives, and is vindicated.
Recently, while reading through this passage, I began to really soak on the timeline at work here… and Daniel’s age at this point. By this time, Daniel was no spring chicken… some say that he could have been in his eighties by the time he was thrown in the lion’s den (he always looked so much younger on the flannel board). As I have been soaking on this, I have become more and more aware of how God prepared Daniel, over many years, for his night in the lion’s den. In the same way, God has never sent me into a lion’s den situation without years of preparation.
Regardless of the season that you are in, God has not sent you into it unprepared… and he is not unaware of the storms that you are facing.
John The Baptist: Sometimes We Need Reassurance
I can only imagine what John the Baptist was feeling as he sat in prison. It had been several months since he had baptized Jesus, and heard the voice of God. The thoughts going through his head must have been something similar to what we feel when we are walking through a season of ministry storms. It happens to all of us… there are times in which we begin to question whether we are called to our ministries, or if our calling was the result of an overly greasy pizza.
In the midst of these seasons, know this: the cousin of Jesus, the guy who baptized him, and the one who came to prepare the way for the Christ needed reassurance. Sitting in prison, awaiting his death, John the Baptist reached out to ask a question that many of us try and avoid: am I missing something here?
John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”
Jesus did what Jesus often does… rather than directly answering the question, he instructs them to tell John what they have seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the dead raised, and on and on.
In Our Storms
In the times where we, like John the Baptist, are needing encouragement our Creator is there with exactly what we need. He is used to the questions, his own son even asked. As we head into our own lion’s den, go knowing that you have been prepared for this situation. Regardless of how ready you may feel your years spent walking with him has uniquely equipped you for this situation.
How have YOU been prepared for YOUR current situation?