One night recently, as we were reading our nightly Bible story before tucking in our oldest son, it struck me more deeply than it had before. The story was Daniel in the lion’s den. We’d read the story to him many times before, and of course I’ve heard the story many times myself all throughout life. I’ve seen it portrayed in cartoons and I’ve heard it in Sunday School lessons…. but this time, it really seemed to connect in a different way.
New International Version (NIV)
22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
For the first time, I imagined the initial terror Daniel must have felt, being in the den of lions. He knew he was placed there to die. I have to say, the thought of death-by-lion sounds incredibly intimidating – and this is coming from a girl who knows there are no lions in town.
Daniel is known for praying anyway. Three times a day, even when he knew it would get him thrown into the den of lions. He wasn’t shy about it; he prayed openly, “just as he had done before.” I have no doubt that the prayers continued as he was thrown into the den.
Knowing that it is highly unlikely that you will be thrown into a lion’s den, what are the figurative lions in your marriage? What has life thrown at you that threatens to devour your marriage and family? Life is full of intimidating situations. Be like Daniel. I’d like to note just a few lessons we can learn from the lion’s den.
1. Stay faithful -Just as Daniel stayed true to his faith and prayed even after being threatened with death, stay faithful to your faith and your marriage. He prayed as he had before. We know Daniel was tempted to pray in secret or not pray out of fear, but he stayed faithful, and the outcome was definitely a good one! God honored Daniel’s faithfulness.
2. Be innocent – Daniel had a clear conscious. “I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done anything wrong before you, Your Majesty.” A clear conscious goes a long way in keeping a peace-filled home and healthy marriage.
3. God can protect us when evil, selfish people mean us harm – as long as we continue to trust Him, stay faithful, and stay innocent. (Daniel 6: 23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.)
4. Facing the trials (and terrors) with prayer and trust in God not only builds YOUR faith, but oh, what a witness it leaves for others! Scripture tells us that when Daniel was pulled safely from the lion’s den (without a scratch), the king sent out a decree that stated everyone in the kingdom should acknowledge God as the one true god. (Daniel 6:26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.”) Daniel’s adherence to his faith impacted the KING …. the man with a great influence on so many people. God used Daniel’s trial to turn around a kingdom. What a legacy!
Whatever lion is stalking your marriage, family, or just you as an individual, face it head-on, in prayer. As I think of Daniel’s words to the king, I have goosebumps.
“My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.”
I hope you feel the same power in that statement that I do! God can shut the mouths of your lions too. If you try to do it all on your own, those lions will overtake you. An angel though… an angel of God can tame the most vicious of lions.
Is it time for you to ask God to send an angel to protect your marriage from a lion?
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, author of Love Isn’t Selfish, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com