Saturday, July 18, 2015

Why Didn't the Angel Just Take Him Out?

I read Jane the story of Daniel in the lions' den tonight. When we got to the part where the angel appears and shuts the lions' mouths she asked, "Why didn't the angel just take him out?"

Don't we all ask God that question sometimes?
"Why aren't you taking me out of this situation?"
"Why aren't you taking away this illness?"
"Why aren't you fixing this problem or this relationship?"
"Why aren't you answering my questions or taking away my doubts?"
... I KNOW YOU CAN! Isn't that faith? And isn't faith supposed to produce results?

So Jane presents a valid question. If Daniel was a man of great faith, and faith produces miracles, why didn't the angel just take him out of the lions' den? He could have.

Because if he did, Daniel would have missed the whole experience of being IN the lions' den but not being eaten.

He would have known God's power to deliver him FROM difficulty, but he wouldn't have experienced God's power to deliver him IN difficulty. That's a whole different level of power and requires a whole different level of faith.

There was not just a single lion in that den. There was a whole group of lions ready to rip Daniel apart, but his faith was sufficient and God's power was sufficient that none of them got a single bite. 

At times in our lives we feel like we've been thrown to lions, lots of them, all ready to eat us. But instead of spending our energy wondering why God isn't taking us out, we can step back and realize, "I'm not being eaten alive in here... even though I should be. Somehow I'm going to come out of this alive." Then look around and see God's angels who are holding back your lions. 

We just finished a grueling year of training in a new place with a newborn and a 2 year old with six months of winter and no family, wrapping up the year with a serious medical scare. There have been moments, sometimes months, when we've both felt like we were in the lions' jaws. But here we are, alive. And stronger. 

As I reflect on this year, I just stand in awe realizing, "We should have been eaten alive. But we weren't. Many marriages end during this year. But ours is stronger. We're fine. We're great." I have grown in ways I never thought possible. My faith is deeper, my foundation is stronger and my hope is brighter because of this year. I've grown as a wife, a mother and a daughter of God in ways I never could have otherwise. 

At times I've begged to just be taken out this. But look at what I would have missed! I would have missed the angels, on this side of the veil and the other, who have literally held back the lions' jaws. I would have missed a deeper relationship with God and I would have missed the person I've become. 

So take another look at your lions, and be grateful for them. When you experience deliverance IN the lions' den, suddenly your faith and trust rise to a whole new level, one that never would have been possible had you just been delivered FROM it.