We finished the Book of Daniel yesterday, and something hit me over the head for the first time. This is not my first time reading the text, yet the message revealed to me is quite clear. Why have I missed one of the most visible messages concerning the passage? Maybe my spirit was not ready to embrace the idea that, despite the storytelling of Daniel, God worked in the lives of the people even in the exile.
For those not entirely up to snuff about the Book of Daniel, the setting is in Babylon during the time of the captivity. God moved in the hearts and minds of at least some of the people, and just like Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, he delivered those who remained faithful to the Divine. The Hebrew people were not left to their own devices while in captivity. Their God still searched them out. They simply needed to call out to the Holy One, and they could receive God’s promise. Captivity may not have been the ideal way to worship, but at least they were provided with the holy presence of Almighty God.
I further reflected on how the text speaks to me now, here in the 21st century. There are times when I feel like I am in exile. When events make me feel like I am forced out of my place of refuge and made to live in a foreign land. I don’t know how God could find me, but the little glimmer of light that I see reminds me that the Holy One never left me in my exile. He was there with me; even in the darkest of places. I turn to the light, and holy hands hold my hands until I am rescued from exile.
Praise be to God that even in the worst of circumstances, we can still find a glimmer of hope; a flicker of Divine presence. We must look around to see it, but I know it is there. We must look under the darkest places in our souls to discover that nothing is obscure to the One who gave us life. Once we find that small light, let us follow it to the brilliance of joy everlasting.