A Lion’s Den
by: Joy Zomer
My great-grandma Nellie regularly sang the hymn “Dare to Be a Daniel” when I visited her house as a young child. Although I do not have clear memories of those visits, this one song, written in 1873 by Philip Bliss, sticks in my mind from hours of singing together. Her love for this song echoes in my heart and the song’s chorus is embedded in my mind’s eye: “Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known!” I imagine she knew well the strength I could pull into my own life from this little song.
With her many years of wisdom Great-Grandma Nellie was aware that an earthly life would be filled with challenges. Life lion’s dens come in many forms. For Daniel, insidious jealousy from fellow advisors to the king put him in a seemingly impossible situation; yet Daniel literally walked into a lion’s den and walked back out again. At times we too may feel surrounded by impossibilities, by a future strewn with frustration, disappointments, or pain. Daniel, and the hymn, reminds us that we are never left alone. Great-Grandma knew that Daniel’s story offers hope in an Almighty God who never leaves us or asks us to walk life’s road without him. If we jump in the lion’s den for him, he will be with us.