“It’s complicated,” said a young man with whom I spoke recently. In the past year, he made some life-altering choices, and those choices carried negative consequences. Now he stands at a crossroads and wonders which way to go.
I admit—his situation is indeed complicated, but it’s not without hope. How can I be so sure? Because the Scriptures tell the story of another young man whose life became complicated and how he navigated the course successfully.
The young man’s name was Daniel. He and three buddies were captured by the Babylonians and chosen for an elite training program. During their training period, the ruling king of Babylon suffered from disturbing dreams. He demanded that his wise men tell him what his dreams were and then interpret their meaning. They argued with him, saying his request was unreasonable. This infuriated the king, and he ordered that all wise men in Babylon be executed. Unfortunately, Daniel and his buddies were on the hit list (Daniel 2:1-13).
When the executioner showed up at their doorstep, Daniel knew what to do:
- He asked a question to clarify the situation: “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?”
- He listened to the answer: “So Arioch told him all that had happened…”
- He took immediate action: “Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.”
- He shared his concern with godly friends: “Then Daniel went home and told his friends…”
- He asked his friends to pray, and to do so specifically: “He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.”
Daniel’s life suddenly grew very complicated. He could have gone on a rant about the king’s foolish decree. He could have curled up in a fetal position, paralyzed by fear upon hearing the decree. He could have let the executioner do his job. Instead, he asked a question to gain a better understanding of the situation and then took deliberate action to prevent unnecessary deaths.
A vital element in this process was prayer. The men asked God to show them the secret, and God answered immediately: “That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision.” What did Daniel do next? He praised God for being the source of all wisdom and power, and for sharing that wisdom and strength with him.
If the word complicated describes your life today, then follow Daniel’s example:
- Ask questions to gain a better understanding of what brought you to this place and what your options are now.
- Listen well.
- Take appropriate action with the people involved.
- Confide in trustworthy friends and urge them to pray specifically.
- Expect God to answer.
- Thank God for answered prayer.
No matter how grim your situation looks, rest assured it’s never beyond God’s wisdom or strength. He offers healing and hope, and He’ll bring you through as a stronger, wiser person.
Photo courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net