Daniel was removed from everything he knew as a young man. Carried off into slavery, his life would be spent in a foreign land serving kings who did not share his worldview or beliefs. In this foreign land, he and three close friends would face their own mortality on numerous occasions as they sought to remain firm to the truth.
The first challenge was subtle but Daniel faithfully chose not to turn his foot to the left or right, but consider the path of his feet (Proverbs 4:26-27). His faithful commitment to honoring God in something so simple as his diet paved the way for what lay ahead. God granted Daniel favor with those in authority over him. Not many days ahead, he would have to trust the same God to provide for His very life.
Such a story begs the initial question, “Do I consider my path in the simple, seemingly small steps?” I vividly remembering flailing face-first toward a sidewalk one early morning running. One moment I was beginning to hit my stride and the next, I found myself painfully limping home. A simple uneven step where the drain met the sidewalk propelled me to a few weeks on crutches and embarrassment. I have learned to appreciate the simple steps. When we cease to consider that every step we take has direct consequences, we fail to see life as a story and live from event to event. Every step matters.
The story of Daniel continues when the King makes an absurd request of those in his service. Troubled by a significant dream, he asks his “wise men” to not only interpret but reveal the dream as well. Failure to do so resulted in the immediate death of every man tasked with the impossible request. Near to death, Daniel seeks out his companions to join him in prayer. God reveals the dream and everything changes. The rest of the story is found in the book of Daniel, chapter 2. For Daniel, something drastic happens which was even greater than God sparing his life. His perspective changed forever. He recorded these words in a prayer of blessing to God:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings…” Daniel 2:20-21. In those moments, Daniel confessed truth; God is sovereign. Those who appeared to possess so much power were unknowing steward of the One who can sift their hearts like streams of water. This perspective guided Daniel for the rest of his life.
Perspective matters. When we choose to trust God in the small simple steps, we learn we can trust Him in the life-altering ones. What decisions are you making today? Are you looking at them through an eternal perspective? The right thing is always the smart thing…according to God’s wisdom. When we choose to live in the shadow of the Sovereign God, our perspective leads to joy, peace, and freedom because of the One who is truly in control.