Heavy burdens…

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Daniel 6:19 Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.”…So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

This is one of the most famous stories in all of scripture – Daniel in the lions’ den. It’s a story of God’s faithfulness to Daniel in response to Daniel’s faithfulness to God. In the midst of a terrible period in Israel’s history, when God’s people were in exile in Babylon, God did not turn his back on them altogether. He remembered his covenant with the people Israel, saving Daniel from death in a very public way.

In their darkest hour, God made his presence known to his people.

I was talking with a close friend of mine recently. He told me this year has been the hardest year of his life. He’s had challenges in his work life. He’s had conflicts in his family. His wife has been suffering from illness that continues undiagnosed – despite close scrutiny from doctors. The list goes on and on. Multiple times he has been close to complete despair. The struggles have very nearly overwhelmed him.

Yet, at his lowest points, the Lord has repeatedly given him strength to carry on.

I’m guessing there are some of you who can relate to my friend’s plight. The details may differ, but it seems that you’ve been getting it from all sides lately. Particularly as we enter into the holiday season, life’s burdens can be even heavier than usual. Believe me when I say – you are not alone. And as I write “you are not alone” I’m not referring to the fact that many other people are feeling overwhelmed. I’m referring to the fact that the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you. Literally…

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

Brothers and sisters, if you are at the end of your rope, cry out to the Lord. Ask him to reveal himself to you in a tangible way. Our God is faithful and will bear you up when it seems the weight of the world is on your shoulders. May God give you grace and mercy to persevere in your time of trial. Amen.

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