Dare to Be Like Daniel

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: Daniel 10:1-19

O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage. (v. 19)

A military seabag sat outside our front door. It meant one thing: our son was coming home soon from Afghanistan! Yet immediately I thought, But he’ll still be there for over a month. I swallowed hard as I remembered the recent death of his staff sergeant. Our son may be home soon, but for now he was still in danger. For families of those serving in the military, fear and worry are frequent (if not constant) companions.

In today’s reading, Daniel struggles with fear and worry. This hero of faith who faced hungry lions readily admits, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak . . . My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe” (vv. 16-17 NIV). The man sent to minister to Daniel reminds him that he is greatly loved and tells him not to fear. The antidote for our anxiety and worry is the assurance of God’s love. His peace renews our strength and courage.

Fearful visions of the future and swirling storms in our lives often cause us to feel helpless, as when I envisioned my son in enemy territory. Sometimes we feel weak and breathless like Daniel; but in the midst of a stormy sea, Jesus says, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39). Let’s follow Daniel’s example, bow our faces, and accept God’s peace to carry on with the courage that only he can give. —Denise Vredevoogd

Prayer: We look to you, God, for peace, strength, and courage when fear threatens to overwhelm.