Everybody faces them—the deadlines, the bills, the expectations, the responsibilities. It can feel like your head might explode from all the stress. Having just returned from a frantic trip to Miami, Florida where my daughter had to be suddenly hospitalized for food poisoning (from a chicken quesadilla), I’ve been contemplating my own response to pressure. My daughter was desperately sick, possibly septic, alone in a big city except for the friend who was traveling with her (who coincidentally had eaten a quesadilla too). I had to get to her quick, but I couldn’t find a flight that would get me there as fast as I needed. After selecting the best choice, the weather decided to throw us a curve, and my already-not-fast-enough-flight got delayed three hours. I paced. I fumed. I worried. I developed a headache.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt trapped and helpless, not sure what to do next? In Daniel 2, I read the story of a guy who knew exactly what this felt like. Pressured by the king’s demands to have his dream explained to him, Daniel not only needed to be wise but he also had to please a crazy man who had already put to death the other men who’d failed him. Talk about a tough situation!
I’ve thought a lot about Daniel and his situation. How was he able to keep his head when others around him were literally losing theirs? As I read the account in Scripture, a few things about Daniel stand out to me.1