When I was younger I always loved building sand castles. Whether it was in the sandbox or on the beach I was always busy building elaborate ramparts, tunnels, passageways, walls, and fortresses. The more I threw myself into the project of building an impressive castle the more I ran away from the haunting realization: this won’t last.
Sure enough, the waves or the wind would eventually come and the impregnable citadel I poured hours of my life into would be reduced to a ruin with barely a trace to commemorate.
That’s the scary thing about sand castles: the more we invest in them, the more we deceive ourselves about their permanence.
What’s true of sand castles is true of all the nations and organizations on this planet: though they dominate the landscape and rule the fate of individuals and whole communities today, tomorrow they may go belly up and to the waste bin of history. The more we invest time, effort, emotion, and energy into them the more we deceive ourselves into thinking they’re permanent.
Daniel was under no delusions. While the king of Persia was for a time the man in charge, Daniel understood that this man’s time in the sun was to be short lived. He was not concerned with playing king-of-the-hill with a man who was already quickly fading away. Likewise, God’s people are called not to overthrow the governments of the world, but to rather suffer and tolerate them for the time being. They’re so fleeting as to be almost inconsequential in God’s eternal timeline.
Daniel’s influence went beyond the very king under whom he served. “And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.” (Daniel 1:21) On the surface it may have looked like Daniel was subservient to a godless government, yet he saw the bigger picture of God’s eternal, everlasting, reign – far beyond the kingdoms of the world.
Even when Jesus’ life itself was at stake he didn’t break a sweat: “My kingdom is not of this world,” he proclaims, much to Pilate’s bewilderment. May we likewise have a steady faith against the unsteady governments of the world.
Pastor Ryan Lunde
Pastor of Young Adults