“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.” (Daniel 6:22 NIV)
Some of you may see dogs wearing harnesses over their muzzles. The first time I saw this, I though the dog was sick, and that it was some kind of a mask like people wear in order to stop the spread of viruses or to ensure that the air they breathe is clean. I was wrong! I googled it to learn that this thing is actually called a “muzzle”. According to the advertisement of one company, wearing one of these devices is very comfortable and does not make the dog feel uncomfortable. It is there to prevent the dog from biting, from eating garbage off the street, to keep the dog from licking at wounds, and to prevent dogs from barking!
In our lives, we find ourselves living in and among different kind of people. We likely never imaged that we would be in these situations. I suspect that Daniel never thought he’d be in the situation he found himself in either, that day that he was thrown to the Lions.
When you have time, I encourage you to read the book of Daniel. Many of you know his story, that he was in a high position, second only to the King of Mediopersia. There were many who were jealous of him, and he was not safe. One of the very interesting parts of Daniel’s story is that he didn’t get angry with the king. In so doing, he was acting like Christ.
Remember the story of Jesus’ crucifixion? When He was brought to Golgatha, I don’t see in the record anyone asking Jesus Christ “to forgive” them for hurting and killing Him. Nonetheless, He did forgive them: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 NIV). And He forgives you, him, her, them, me, us all.
We need to follow His example and immediately forgive people who hurt us, without trying to justify ourselves and without pointing the finger of blame.
Maybe right now you are perhaps in a similar situation to Daniel. Maybe it is in your situation at work or at church. You never thought you would be in the situation, but there are people who are jealous of you. Can you follow Daniel’s example and act like Christ?
Scripture teaches that we can’t handle anything apart from Christ. He promises to be with us in times of need. In our weakness, He shows Himself be our protector.
No matter what unexpected challenges happen in our work place or in church or any situation. We can still be on solid ground with Jesus by relying on Him to help us follow in His steps. While our society, and unfortunately, also the church, is made up of imperfect people, Jesus is perfect and holy.
We can also be assured that Jesus loves us and that He always takes the side of those in need. That is why we are told: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)
Today, we are all in need in one way or another, and we all need Him. As a believer in Jesus Christ, He is on our team. He is for each of you. He is for our redemption. He is for our sanctification. He died for us while we were still sinners. Right or left, wrong or right, He is for those who need Him.
Jesus is patient with us as we learn and grow. He understands the frustrations that we face. He walks with us through the valleys, and He delights in our newfound wisdom and growth: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11 NIV). Why not, like Daniel of the Bible, follow Jesus’ example in all that you do?
And when you find yourself in a situation where you feel like lashing out at someone, remember the muzzle. Don’t say the first words that come to you. Instead, remember to follow Jesus’ example and show forgiveness. And when someone begins lashing out to you, pray to God that He will send His angel with a “muzzle” to stop the flow of negative words!
Let’s pray: I thank my Heavenly Father that “the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:17 NIV). In Jesus Christ name, the name above all name, I ask, Amen.
Sophie Chun Ngeth