The first week of my life, I didn’t have a name. The card above my head read “baby boy Bradley.” My mom and I both stopped breathing several times during labor and she was initially too sick to name me. After she regained her strength, she prayed and really thought long and hard about what to name me. Finally, she came up with Daniel Christian Bradley. My middle name obliviously is because I’m a P.K. (Preacher’s Kid) and she wanted to make sure I would always know that Christ needed to stay at the center of my life, but Daniel was because she felt like he was a great example of how she wanted me to be.
Daniel of the Bible was an avid prayer warrior; it was written that he prayed to his God three times a day. He was an interpreter of dreams, and found favor with the king even while he and his people were captive. But he is most famous for the story found in the 6th chapter of Daniel, when he was thrown into a den of lions because he refused to compromise his faith.
While reading this story recently, I thought about how we all have lions or lions’ den experiences, places, people, and positions that scare us. We will at times stay at the threshold of being blessed because the step before the blessing is seemingly blocked by lions. Fear is natural but it’s an illusion. It’s literally false evidence appearing real. Now, don’t get me wrong. In Daniel’s case, the lions in his path were very real, but he didn’t allow fear of the lion to supersede his faith in God.
It’s ok to be afraid of the future, but use the fear as fuel to push you into a place of faith. Faith is believing in God enough to stand still when it makes perfect sense to run. No one would’ve blamed Daniel if he decided to just bow down to what the king requested, but Daniel knew that his God could deliver him, even from the face of lions.
If your life is not yet what you want it to be, sometimes the best thing to do is to do a “faith check,” like ask yourself if you desire an incredible life and are you activating incredible faith. Incredible faith is moving toward your goals no matter what. Don’t let the lions stop you. Face your lion.
Whatever your lion is, whether it’s a conversation with your supervisor about a promotion, or whether it’s finally sitting down and writing that book, or enrolling in school even though you may think you are too old, maybe you are your own lion, and it’s facing a lack of confidence in yourself. Whatever that barrier is, convert the barrier to a hurdle and leap over it, or break through it, because on the other side of that den of lions is greatness. We only really know who Daniel is thousands of years after he lived because he had enough faith in God to face his lions.
Prayer Starter: God, help me to replace my fear with faith. Let me overcome evil with good, and continue to do good knowing in due season I will reap if I do not faint. Help me to be confident as I am placed in situations that feel like I am surrounded by hungry lions. At those times remind me that it is you that is protecting me, all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.