I load the dishwasher. I sort the laundry. I prepare the lesson plans and check my kids’ assignments. I read a chapter or two from a book in the stack. I update a grocery list. I stoke the fire and enjoy the warmth. I consider a dentist appointment, a call to the vet, a coffee date soon with a friend, a next poetry tea, a holiday gift craft project.
These things equal a small piece of an everyday. They are things I see and feel. They occupy my thoughts and fill my calendar. And while my to-do list breathes life of its own, it’s only the visible part of a bigger picture. I think of that sometimes too, and especially today while reading through Daniel.
7 Only I, Daniel, saw this vision. The men with me saw nothing, but they were suddenly terrified and ran away to hide. 8 So I was left there all alone to see this amazing vision. My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak. 9 Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground.
10 Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. 11 And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.
12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. 14 Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” (Daniel 10:7-14, NLT)
(Completely arrested by the wording of spirit prince(s), blocking, archangel, I read and reread and researched.)
I think of an enemy who comes to steal and destroy–and that can be as real as a break-in and theft of belongings, or as real as the stealing of the unseen: joy, confidence, security. It can be as real as a living, breathing accuser face to face (or screen to screen), or the force that comes between friends, families, communities, believers.
Divided=conquered. Or at least it feels like it. Spiritual warfare.
When Daniel is told about kingdoms and battles and things that look nothing like what he knows, I think about a day’s agenda, juxtaposed to the biblical refining heat of persecution.
I find encouragement in these scriptures. Comforting words of “do not be afraid,” and “you are very precious to God,” and (New Testament) “blessed.”
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Purpose of the Book
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. (John 20:24-31)
The day is full of new dimension.
Lord, help me to be mindful that not everything is as it seems to my limited sight. As I go through the days, let me rest in the security that you are in control. Strengthen me to do what is good and right. Equip me to speak love and life.