“Where’s God When I’m Scared?” was the only Veggie Tale movie I knew of when I was a youth. It was given to me by two of my band peers my Junior year of High School about the same time that my dad entered hospice care. A time in my life that was filled with angst, fear, and uncertainty.
“Where’s God When I’m Scared?” highlights the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den from Daniel 6. It begins with Daniel’s loyalty to God. Daniel was loyal to the king of Persia, Darius, but he was more loyal to God. Because of his good character and the wisdom that God gave him, Daniel had risen in power to command in all of Persia. Daniel was a Jew, and it made King Darius’ Persian administrators and satraps very angry that they were reporting to and working alongside a non-Persian.
Daniel had too much power for their liking and they wanted him out, but Daniel was too honest and pure for them to oust him unless it had to do with the law of God. So, the king’s administrators set a trap to get rid of Daniel. They convinced King Darius that the only one his subjects should be praying to was him and then they got him to issue a written decree stating that anyone caught praying to any other human or god over the next 30 days would be thrown into the lions den.
Daniel knew about this new law and prayed to God anyway. The king’s administrators arrested him and threw him into the lion’s den in hopes that Daniel would be destroyed. Daniel stayed in the sealed den all night long. When King Darius went to have the den opened the next morning, he expected Daniel to be dead. But… God had sent his angel to close the mouths of the lions and save Daniel. Daniel credits this saving act of God to his trust in God.
In light of the rest of the Book of Daniel, this story points to the sovereignty and love of God – His power is higher than the power of any other being. His tender care of those who love, honor, and serve Him is highlighted. You are reading this today and His Word is true for you today. Because of Jesus, He has found you as one worthy of His tender care.
Now this was the second time during my dad’s illness that God brought me to Daniel 6. This time, He hand delivered it through some angels disguised as my peers. The first time was shortly after my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. I was sitting on my bed, crying out to God, still very young in my faith and new to reading the Scriptures. Everything I’d read up to that point was self-taught. God had me open my Bible to Daniel 6 and prompted me to read the whole chapter. By the time I got to the end of the chapter, where it says, “When Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he and trusted in his God.” I was in awe of the power and love of God for His people. If Daniel had trusted God to care for him while he faced lions in a den, and God showed up and saved Daniel, then surely I could trust God to walk my family and me through the battle against this horrific cancer that was attacking my dad.
I didn’t come out of that battle without any wounds or scars like Daniel did, but I came out of the battle with a greater understanding of who God is and how He loves me, a confidence in God that still drives me today (He is a promise keeper! But that is a post for another time), and a deep-deep passion for walking with people as they encounter the challenges of life.
As I look back now, I see God weaving me into His story and weaving His story into me. I see how He used time of intense emotional pain and loneliness to draw me near to Him, to reveal Himself to me, and to begin to show me who I am to Him and through Him.
Friend, if you are in the valley of the shadow of death today or in a den surrounded by lions about to devour you, take heart. Jesus has overcome the world and He is walking through this valley or sitting in this den of lions with you. He has called you. He has claimed you as His precious child (Ephesians 1:13). He loves you with an everlasting love (Psalm 136, Jeremiah 31:3). And He is working this out for the good of His purpose (Romans 8:28).