Have you ever wondered what Daniel was doing in the lion’s den? I have. As a kid I used to picture the lions being sweet like those in heaven. I wondered if Daniel was able to pet them. Maybe he could cuddle up by them and hear them purring as he went to sleep. I don’t know about all that, but I think I do know one thing he was doing. Years ago, our church had purchased thousands of Final Events DVDs to hand out to the community. My family had volunteered to help. We all spent an hour or so putting DVDs in clear plastic bags, and telling the children how nice it was that we could share Jesus with the people in Alvarado, wondering how many people would be in heaven because they chose to witness for Jesus.
I had three children in my van: our twelve-year-old son, Joshua, our daughter Missy, who was 6, and another little girl, Hosanna. We were having such a happy day passing out DVDs. The children were hanging a bag with a DVD in it on each doorknob, and I was driving right beside them. When all of a sudden a very large black German shepherd came at them barking and snarling and snapping at Joshua’s legs. I was so proud of him for staying between the dog and the little girls. Three frightened but uninjured children made it into the van. A lady yelled from down the street, “I’m so glad they are ok! That dog is mean. They need to do something about him. Last week he bit someone!” Josh’s torn jeans seemed like a small thing.
But now what? It was important for each house to get a DVD. We were praying and expecting people to be in heaven because of these DVDs! I had read tons of missionary and colporteur stories to my children, stories about God performing miracles. What kind of witness was it to my kids for us to up and leave these houses undone because of a mean dog? Would the missionaries and colporteurs give up? Did I want to let Jesus down?
I turned off the van, took the bags from the children and got out of the van. I told the Lord that I was trusting in Him. I reminded Him that He had taken care of countless colporteurs and I knew He could take care of me. My prayer as I walked to the other side of my van was, “I am doing Your work, You said You would be my Refuge.” The dog began to come towards me barking and snarling. Any courage I might have felt melted away, leaving only fear, but I kept on walking forward. “Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief!” The dog continued to snarl staying about three feet away. I didn’t have the courage to go to their door, but their mailbox was right there, so I hung a bag on their mailbox, and began to go to the other houses. But that big, black, angry German Shepherd didn’t stay at home. It followed me to every house keeping a distance of about three feet, snarling and threatening me the whole time.
I was praying and claiming promises, yet the dog would not leave me alone. Then, I was impressed to sing. For almost a decade, we had been teaching the children the opening hymn for church. I began to sing one of those hymns of praise we had memorized. And the moment I began to sing, that dog stopped snarling and his mouth was shut. The courage I had acted on, but had not felt, I then began to feel.
Now, when I think of Daniel in the lion’s den, I’m not so sure he was cuddling up to any lions. But I am pretty sure he was singing songs of praise.