“Flatten the curve” we have all heard the phrase the last few weeks. Now, in the event that you are reading this a couple of years from now, our country is involved in a worldwide pandemic called COVID-19.
We have heard for weeks of the need to stay home and help "flatten the curve' or the graph health officials are using to track cases of COVID-19, and unfortunately, the deaths of COVID-19. But I began to think about the “curve” and thought on it in a different way.
You see, it happens at some. Something unexpected happens. It’s nothing you planned on. Things are no longer the same, and what once felt solid is no more. Life has thrown us a "curveball."
It might be the divorce of our parents. It could be something at school. The loss of a job, or the death of a loved one, someone coming down with the novel coronavirus.
So what do you do when life presents you with a curve? What do you do when it feels like your family is falling apart around you? Where do you turn when it feels like there is nothing left for you to do? The Word of God is filled with twist endings. Numerous people face situations that they did not see coming. Particularly, Daniel.
Daniel was a man of God. He was a man of prayer. And when King Darius' henchmen decided they did not like Daniel praying to his God three times a day, they coned the King into signing a decree that no prayer could be offered. Anyone who prayed to God would face severe consequences.
So what did Daniel do when life threw him a curve?
Here are a few things Daniel did without hesitation...
1. Don’t let your relationship with God fall between the cracks.
You might want to blame God, or just not feel close to him in though times. The thing to remember is that God is not the source of the bad things that happen to you. Don’t let a rough time in life steal your relationship with God. Your relationship with God is what will get you through the tough times. It can be your foundation when it feels like the world is falling apart around you. Choose to stay close to God and rely on Him in tough times.
When Daniel was faced with this no-win situation, he could have blamed God, abandoned his prayer life, let his relationship with God fall through the cracks. But Daniel kept praying and believing that His Lord as God overall. When life throws you for a curve, keep your relationship with God up to date.
2. Don’t Take It Out On Others. It can be easy when you feel upset to want to take it out on other people.
However, taking it out on other people is never the answer. You will ultimately drive people who love you and care about you away if you begin to take it out on them. These people can be your support when times are tough.
Daniel could have gotten mad at the King, his henchmen, or even God himself. But Daniel did not act out or blame others. He simply trusted in God. Often, when life deals us a curve, we look for someone to blame, someone to give fault to. But sometimes, we just have to wait in His presence and alow Him to work it out.
3. Learn from it. As much as life’s tough times stink, you can use tough times to learn.
Tough times also show you a lot about yourself. You may find that you don’t have the character you thought you did because you came unglued in a tough time. You may learn that you have some areas in your life that you need to work on. Tough times are a good indicator of character.
When life deals us a curve, we find out how strong our faith really is. Daniel prayed three times a day but how strong was his faith? His faith was strong enough to keep him safe in a pit of lions. When you experience a curve, learn from it and put your faith to the test. See f you are who you say you are.
4. Look up. When life doesn’t go the way you wanted, know that you can look up. Jesus is your answer to life’s problems. He understands what you’re going through completely. He can be your anchor in the midst of life’s storms.
When life doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, it's never easy. The good thing to remember is that you’re not alone. You’ve got Jesus on your side. Don’t forget to lean on him in tough times and in good times!
When Danil was climbing out of the pit of lions, he had to look up. I can't help but think that was not the first time he looked up that night. Scripture tells us to "look to the hills, for that's where our help comes from." More often than not, looking up to the hills requires you to look up. So the next time something unexpected comes your way, look up to Jesus!