Life in the Lion’s Den
The king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions. Daniel 6:24
The thing that attracted me to stories like Daniel and the lion’s den when I was a child, is the same thing that frustrates me as an adult. Within just one chapter, a conflict arises and is resolved. Bad guys attack the brave hero, who sacrifices everything to do what’s right. Then, the good guy miraculously survives as the antagonist gets his comeuppance. With the convenience of a one-hour TV episode, the conflict is resolved, and everyone is happy, except the bad guys, who get eaten by lions. Yay!
The problem for us, is perspective. We don’t see the struggle for Daniel to do the right thing. We don’t see Daniel’s fear in the long dark night of the lion’s den. In reading the passage, the events are sped up. The reality for us though, is that we live day to day, somewhere in the story. Some of us are struggling to do what’s right and some of us are in the lion’s den. What should we do? Will God rescue us? Though Daniel’s story fast-forwards through the conflict, we are living there.
Faith then, is keeping our eyes on God, and like Daniel, following him, even when we don’t know the outcome. We know that all things work together for good for God’s people (Romans 8:28), but we also know that God’s version of good, is often not what we think it is. We know that miracles, by definition are rare events and we know that God has allowed some to be eaten by the lions. This is why faith is hard, because we know that life’s struggles are not resolved in a one-hour episode.
Life is messy and not every conflict goes the way we think it should. God however, is still in control and will eventually work all things out for our ultimate good, even if that does not happen like we think it should in this life. Faith is accepting that we do not have it all figured out and that we must trust the only one who does. That is life in the lion’s den.