Is it just me or have you ever spent the night lying awake, worrying about the mistakes you had made during the daylight hours? There are times, at night, when I lay there thinking, “I should have paid more attention when Jen was telling me that story”, or “I should have asked Jeremiah how his science fair is coming along.” Even, “Gosh I wish I hadn’t gotten so upset with Mikaylah for forgetting her homework” and “I shouldn’t have said that to Myrah, or “I should have spent more time playing with Skyler.” Sometimes I think that it will only be by the grace of God that these kids grow up to be capable adults!
Is anybody agreeing with me here? And that is just with my kids, what about the mistakes I make with Jerry, or at work, Shouldn’t I have called that friend to check on her… The list goes on and on! Please tell me I am not alone??
Actually, I already know I am not alone. From the pages of Daniel, I know that there was a King who spent a sleepless night regretting his choices. The story is a familiar one and comes from the 6th chapter.
King Darius is the guy who can identify with me. He made a decision, well actually since he was king he made a law. He decreed that for thirty days, anyone who prayed to any god or man except him would be thrown into the lion’s den.
I am sure you can see the problems with that from the get go but Darius was feeling pretty good about himself at the time he made the law. You see, he didn’t come up with this idea on his own. His advisers, the administrators and satraps gave it to him. I am guessing he was patting himself on the back thinking how amazing it was that these wise guys thought he was worthy of that kind of worship.
If you know the story, you know that these “wise guys” were really just out to get Daniel. The Bible says, “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.” (vs 3)
Well you can imagine the jealousy the other “wise guys” were feeling. They were so jealous that they plotted and planned a way to get him out of the way. But the Bible goes on to say, “They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” (vs. 4)
But let’s get back to our King Darius, the guy who can relate to me.
King Darius followed the advice, made the law and, to his great sadness, his #1 guy, Daniel is thrown into the den of lions. Let’s pick the story up in verse 16:
“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!’ A stone was brought and laced over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.”
The Bible goes on to record that Darius spent the night worrying about Daniel. He so regretted what had been done that he couldn’t even eat or sleep.
There was something else that Darius didn’t know. Verse 17 says, “So that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.” Well. Darius didn’t know that we serve a God that can change any situation, a hole with a rock rolled in front to seal the opening. (Hey that reminds me of another, even more awesome story, but I guess I will save it for another day! In case you can’t wait, you can read it in Mark 15-16). What Darius didn’t know is that “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) But he was about to find out.
When Darius sees the first hints of daylight he rushes to the den and in “an anguished voice” he calls for Daniel. Much to his relief Daniel answers and walks out unharmed. Hallelujah!
So what can you and I learn from this? Well, as I studied this story and took a fresh look at it, I was reminded that there is nothing I can mess up so badly that God cannot fix!
Friend, is there something that you are struggling with right now? Something that you think you have messed up so badly that it is unrepairable? Take a deep breath, and then hand it over to God…. Nothing is beyond God’s reach!