Daniel 4:1-37, 7:1-28; 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34
Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind. Literally. He found himself living in the wilds like an animal. He was a king who had it all according to the world’s standards. But all that didn’t prevent him from suffering.
Later, after the king regained his sanity and his throne he wrote a letter to the people about his experience. And do you know what he said about those dark days? Daniel 4:2&3 says:
It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed FOR me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.”
Do you believe that even your darkest hours, your hardest challenges, your toughest circumstances are opportunities for God to do something FOR you? I have shared that in 2012 we lost two very dear men in our family. It’s been almost a year since my dad went to live with the Lord. At 87 and in poor health he was ready to go and that helped us to let him go a little easier. But the hole he left in our family is still there and I miss him.
But I’ve also shared that we lost my 22 year old nephew in an auto accident. One minute he was with us, loving us, making us laugh. The next he was gone. His death has been and continues to be a source of great sadness for me and my family.
There have been many dark days since that June Sunday. And in many ways Geoff’s loss is still fresh. Can I honestly say that it’s a pleasure to tell you about it? Can I look at our situation and share what God has done FOR us through this?
I’m getting there.
I have seen God’s hand obviously working in our lives this past year. I’ve seen my sister, a grieving mother, reach out to help others in Jesus’ name. We have praised God for the privilege of knowing Geoff for 22 amazing years and look forward to seeing him again one day because he knew the Lord as his Savior. That confidence helps us get out of bed every day.
I’ve learned things about myself this past year. I’ve learned my faith is as strong as I had hoped it would be. I’ve learned that God is true to his Word and provides strength when we have none of our own. I know first hand that, although it takes time, joy returns to those who mourn and it’s ok.
Now I can honestly say that as grateful as I am for the lessons I’ve learned through Dad and Geoff’s deaths, I wish I could have learned them and still held on to those two. I wish Geoff would walk through that door and tell me I passed the test so we could get back to life. I mean, Nebuchadnezzar got his kingdom back, didn’t he?
I don’t know what valley you are going through. And I don’t know the extent of your pain. But I know mine. And I can tell you that God is able to carry you through the worst situations because he’s carrying me through mine.
I may not be quite at the point where I can say it’s a pleasure to tell you about Geoff. But I can say without hesitation that it is a pleasure to tell you about my Savior, my source of strength, my joy. It’s Jesus. Simply put. It’s Jesus.
Nebuchadnezzar reminds us that God’s kingdom is eternal, his dominion endures. This life is so short compared to eternity. My prayer for you is that, if you are going through a difficult situation you won’t waste time blaming God or being angry at him because things aren’t fair. My prayer is that you will trust him. That you will allow him to do something FOR you in the midst of the pain.
He will, you know. Draw close to God and he promises to draw close to you. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.