Earlier in the week I had heard someone on the radio ask of a Christian, "Where was your God with Paris?" It hurt to hear because that seems to be a default position for so many, I was pleased with the response given, but the question didn't leave me quickly. It stuck and I pondered it over the day. As I was prayerful over my heart and what God would want me to see in it, Daniel came to mind and specific the vision in Daniel 8 that revealed, in short form, many more years of persecution for Daniel and his people. He had been faithful in believing there would be relief, that change would come and that he would see it in his lifetime, but this revealed the exact opposite. And like us in the face of current worldly conflict and catastrophe Daniel's position was of confusion and grief, BUT he still got up and "went about the king's business". Daniel still moved, he still worked, he still lived, he still believed, he still shared God. If I were Daniel, I'd want to hide away in bed for a few days in tears over this too. It would hurt to think the salvation or release from persecution I'd prayed for I'd never see, but at the same time I can't help but feel God's love in this message. Like standing before a dark path, we will likely tremble and delay our first step, fearing for what lies ahead, but THIS God stands with us, saying ... "I am right here. This won't be easy, there WILL be some scary parts. You're going to get scrapes and cuts and the climb will be steep, you will not understand it all, but I am not going anywhere. Where you go in this, I will be with you. I will not leave your side."

God doesn't promise that our lives will turn out the way we want. We will trip up, we will see violence, we will live out persecution, our finances will struggle, our kids will get sick, our husbands and wives may leave, we will lose loved ones and our bodies will fail. We, like Daniel, reside in a place that is not our home. And with each year that passes, there will be good, but there will also be pain. We may never see redemption for the things or people we pray for in our lifetimes, but unlike those ancient days we don't have to stand outside the holy tents because we aren't worthy. We are able to not only venture into the tent but beyond the curtain. We can go straight to God with our fears, our heartaches, our trouble. We can fall in His lap and cry out, we can drop to our knees with our faces buried in our hands and He will not walk away. He is our great comforter AND our victory, just as He was Daniel's. NOTHING we face separates us. HE is drawn to the broken, the hurt, the lost. HE seeks us! God is always with us, we don't walk these wretched and painful journeys alone. Praising God for He IS our constant triumph, our champion, our truest companion and in HIM we can find peace! ~ B

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

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