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Immerse: Chronicles Week 8

Wait, what?!

After this week’s reading for Immerse: Chronicles, I realized something. I had never read the book of Daniel from start to finish. Sure, I’ve read all the stories on their own, but somehow, I had never actually taken the time to read it as one cohesive book. My knowledge of Daniel as a person of faith read more like a kid’s story Bible instead of an Encyclopedia Britannica of Bible history. So when I started reading in preparation for the week 8 blog, I found myself completely out of my depth. What began as familiar stories like Daniel’s time in the lion’s den, quickly turned into prophetic dreams which sounded more like feverish hallucinations.  So I read it a second time, thinking surely it’ll make more sense, because if at first you don’t succeed... But I still couldn’t quite make heads or tails of it. It was both terrifyingly specific and frustratingly vague. On page 181 Daniel asks when all of these terrible events of the prophecies would end, and the answer he gets is “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time.” Daniel appeared to be just as confused by that answer as I was when I read it, but it didn’t stop him from doing what needed to be done. He took a record of everything he had been shown, and kept it hidden just as he was asked.
            Daniel was dedicated to his faith in a way the majority of the people could only wish to achieve. His focus on the Lord was unwavering. The dictionary defines the word tenacity as “not easily stopped or pulled apart; firm or strong.” Daniel was tenacious in his faith despite his circumstances. He was held as a captive in a foreign land, stripped of his name, plotted against and thrown to the lions, dragged before the king only to receive horrible news (and not just once), and finally bore the knowledge of all the suffering to come. Just one of those events would be enough to send your average person running away, but Daniel calmly persevered. He was afraid, but he didn’t let fear win. It’s a lesson all of us can learn. It’s a lesson I almost missed by not reading the book of Daniel in its entirety. God’s Word, like the book of Daniel, is meant to be studied from cover to cover, not just the easy palatable parts. Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” I’m glad my eyes were opened to the example Daniel truly is, and I pray I can be as tenacious in my willingness to learn as Daniel was in his trust in God.