Daniel 6:10 “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.”
Daniel learns that anyone caught praying to someone other than King Darius will be thrown in the lions’ den. Imagine… your frail mother or your compromised immune system child, or YOU are thrown into a room full of coronavirus sufferers to get just a sense of Daniels fear.
Daniel goes home, non-secretively, throws open his windows and prays anyway.
God, do something
Could I have been so brave? If it had been me, this would have been my tone… God, DO something already!
But not Daniel. He got down on his knees, prayed and gave thanks to the Lord, as he had done previously.
I’m willing to bet that is a contrasting picture of how most of us would react. But let’s learn from his example.
Gratitude is habit forming
It is clear from the scripture that gratitude-filled prayers were Daniel’s custom. In his crisis, Daniel did what he always did. His love, trust and consistent prayers didn’t just kick in from his foxhole. This habit was already established. And this practice likely felt very natural.
Gratitude fights fear
The way I see it… Daniel’s thankful heart seemed to help him combat fear. The story never mentions that Daniel tried to hide. He didn’t freak out because his circumstances were out of his control. He didn’t agonize over a solution or demand understanding. Instead, He prayed where anyone and everyone could see. Daniel wasn’t daring God by doing something stupid. Daniel, trusted God completely and turned to Him in the midst of his crisis.
This pandemic, this “fluid situation” that our country, and our world, is experiencing right now is unprecedented. Maybe fear is not your dominant emotion. Perhaps like me, you’re annoyed or frustrated because of the forced abrupt changes to your plans.
Be thankful anyway
But, during lent what better time to take our cue from Daniel. Let’s be thankful anyway.
Ian flew to Denver today SOLO (for the first time since his brain injury) to meet his friend Malik for a few days for spring break. This… adds to Ian’s miracle count. I’m grateful that the trip could still happen. And, surprisingly the airport was dead, even no line at security, making it much less overwhelming for Ian to find his way.
In the midst of this worldwide mess, what are you thankful for?
Dear Sovereign Lord, So much about life right now is out of our control. But we know it is not out of Your control. Father enable us to rest on that truth so that our minds are free to realize all there is to be grateful for. Amen.
I love hearing from you…
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Toni HULCE says
Hi Debbie, we have not been to Church in a month due to my age and health situation and weakened immune system. Your daily Lenten Prayer Challenge is so wonderful and keeps us grateful & thankful for you and your family reminding us how great is God!
We will listen to today’s service on the website.
Stay safe. God bless you.
Toni & Clark Hulce
One of the blessings of technology. May you sense a virtual hug from me Toni!
Peggy Channell says
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour…line from an old hymn just came to me this morning…can‘t remember another word of the hymn. Thank You for the privilege of prayer…conversation with a loving Father who knows me in every way. Thank you for always being near.
Indeed! wisdom and courage in large doses please Father. Thanks Peggy. Good to hear from you.
Hi Debbie, I love reading the devotional daily. During this world wide crisis I’m thankful for the advance notice, for schools, churches and other organizations listening and taking precautions. I’m not fearful I think this is a great opportunity to reset and refocus our priorities. Thank you for your uplifting devotional. I’m looking forward to the service on the website as well today. God Bless!
As a new reader… welcome. As hassled as it can feel, I am confident we will all get through this. Thanks for your courage to go public, L. 🙂
Katherine Ott says
I have encountered so many blessings during this crisis:
1. A chance for families to spend time together (even while juggling work and chidcare challenges).
2. Increased civility and genuine interaction between people. A lady in the lengthy checkout line at Smith’s thanked the checker for her patience, perseverance, and grace during this time. That acknowledgement goes a long way.
3. Improved health and hygiene measures for ALL of us. This change in routine is great.
And I could go on with many, many others. God is good all the time.
Thanks for your real and practical and relevant list of thanks. And you touched on an amazing bonus. When we start noticing things to be thankful for… they “seem” to keep comin’. Stay the course Katherine.
Anne Kole says
So much to be thankful for! God’s abiding presence. Unexpected release from the temptation to resume activities too soon as I heal from illness. Technology that keeps me close to family in CA and to my church family. I could list many more! You are a blessing too Debbie. Thank you.
Excellent. Thank you Anne. Time for you to heal!
Joan writes… I am so enjoying your devotions each day and love the perfect timing of His word!! Christians are being looked to at this time of crisis to see how we act and react – what a perfect opportunity to “witness” to others without having to say a word. OUr actions and faith are on display. Yesterday at the store, watching people gather supplies, I too the opportunity to silently pray for the person I passed by. I tried to look them in the eye and smile and to show a calmness that only Christ can provide. God is good all the time and no action is ever in vain. Thank you for your wisdom and wonderful way with words!! I look forward to each day to see what I learn from you.
Thanks Joan, I agree.
Paula Koy says
Your daily Lenten devotionals have been so beautiful, I am sending them to my friends. I hope them are adding their names to your list.
Covid19 is something else–it is changing the world. I am finding peace in the wisdom you share with us. Thank you.
PS: Glad to know that Ian had a successful flight.
Thank you Paula! Delighted to hear they are blessing you. For His glory.
Anita writes…When he heard that he was about to be thrown into the lions’ den Daniel’s first response was to go to his room and pray. Then he stood steadfast in the face of the crisis. My response to our current crisis was also to turn to God in prayer, but I seem to always want an immediate, clear answer. I have been trying very hard to settle back, trust that an answer will come, and wait. Then stand steadfast. This week my answer came in several quiet ways and I gradually felt a sense of peace. Today I will praise God in the quietness of my own home feeling unity with others who have decided to worship at home as well as those who have gathered for public worship. I will also enjoy a walk to give thanks for the beauty that surrounds me every day. God is always good!
Amen! It seems to be forcing all of us to pause. May God use this for His glory!
We have been with our granddaughter this past week and in discussing this pandemic situation with covid19 she said that she thinks it may be God’s way of telling us to slow down, step back and look at life the way we should and trust in him. It may be a wake up call. I’ve tried to look at it this way.
That sounds like one wise granddaughter!
Thank you for the daily reminders—I look forward to them each day. I noticed all the beautiful signs of Spring on my way to church this morning; so today I am thankful for the beauty in our midst, despite all the other concerns we have.
Amen. There was something about being in the Lord’s house this morning. Even though we were socially distanced… I left with a sense of confidence in our God even in the midst of this storm.
It was so good to sing our hearts out this morning, especially to send dear Margaret on her way with joy! We’re grateful that Doug and the rest of the church leadership are taking thoughtful measures in the face of this challenge. It’s also lovely to see the hiking trail parking lots full and bikers out in great numbers enjoying the fresh air.
I agree. So fortunate in ABQ to be able to enjoy the outdoors, especially now!
Roberta Burns says
I have definitely had a very trying and frustrating week on many levels. It started out with Illinois Central College where I work part time as a tutor for Health Career students and Adjunct Faculty. We were advised that out Spring Break for students is being extended by additional week which creates all sorts of issues with rearranging class schedules and tests. In the midst of all of this chaos, I received a phone call on Thursday evening that my only brother , 72 passed away. It was not unexpected because he has been dealing with one health crisis after another for over 7 months. Now we are leaving to travel to Indiana for tine with my family,I have 2 sisters and their families. I am trying to remember who is in control and celebrate the life of my brother and know he is at peace after so much suffering. It is a little overwhelming with all this happening at once. I am taking some time to read some passages that will help me make sense of all of this chaos.
Roberta… thanks for your comment. I will be praying for your time with family. And as you suggested… He is in control even when it doesn’t feel like it. Im so sorry.
Ashley McLain says
I have come to find the quiet time in mornings – before the sun, my husband, daughter and dogs are all awake and demanding food, attention, walks and the unexpected addition of homeschooling – to be one of my favorite times of day. I am heartened to see an email from you as part of the Lenten Prayer Challenge. None of us knew that this season would transform into forced isolation while we struggle with fear, frustration, boredom and schooling/entertaining our children and I love the messages you provide and the reminders that GOD is in control and if we trust in Him, we can let some of that anxiety fade into the background. Thank you!!!
Who knew? Curious isn’t it. But He did. And I agree, that fact brings me some comfort in the chaos.
Denise Seavey says
Dear Deb, My heart breaks for Ian and I have now started praying for him. May God reveal Himself in a very precious way to him. May God bless him in a precious way that seems impossible at the moment. May you all continue to seek God’s presence, rejoicing in our salvation, trusting Him no matter the circumstance.
May God continue to bless you as you serve Him for His glory!
Denise, Thank you! What a blessing it is that you have joined the throngs. I believe every one is heard and matters. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.