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I believe most everyone has heard the story of Daniel in the lion’s den and how The Lord provided protection for him.

My question to you is this: Do you know the first part of the story and why Daniel was even thrown into the lion’s den? There’s a little poem that I learned years ago in Sunday School. Maybe it will give you a clue.

“Dare to be a Daniel.

Dare to stand alone.

Dare to have a purpose.

Dare to make it known."

Daniel was a dedicated and devoted young man who had principles and wasn’t ashamed of who he was or what he believed. His daily practice was to bow down on his knees at least three times a day and pray to his Heavenly Father. It was part of his everyday life.

There were those who didn’t like Daniel or what he stood for. They went to King Darius and suggested he make a decree that said if anyone worshiped anyone beside him they would be thrown into the lion’s den. The king admired Daniel and knew that God’s hand was upon his life and didn’t want to make such a decree. But like the governor who washed his hands of guilt in the sentencing of Jesus, he gave in to the crowd. The decree was set in motion and it became the law.

As per usual, Daniel continued his daily life of praying to The Lord. His accusers watched, saw him, and reported back to the king. Daniel was then seized and thrown into the lion’s den. The next morning, the king himself ran to the den and saw that Daniel’s God had protected and saved him. Because of Daniel’s determination to be faithful to his beliefs, God’s hand of protection was with him and he was spared.

I can’t help but wonder how dedicated and loyal each of us is to our beliefs. Are we willing to take a stand? Do we have the "grit and backbone" to live as we know God would have us live? Or do we cave in to people, circumstances, surroundings, or threats? Maybe it’s time for each of us to examine our lives and decide whether we will have a purpose and dare to take a stand. God promises to never leave us or forsake us. How could we ask for anything more? Even if we die, as Billy Graham said, “I’ve just changed addresses."

Audrey B. Unruh is a local columnist, who can be reached at zwiebach@charter.net

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