As I was making my way through the book of Daniel, I came across a passage of Scripture that had never stuck out to me before - Chapter 10, Verses 16-19 (NLT):
~Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, “I am filled with anguish because of the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe." Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”~
In Daniel's case, he was seeing some pretty frightening images of things to come. Like me though, I am sure a lot of you are weakened and left breathless by just what is going on all around us in this world and in our very own countries and communities. I do believe we are approaching, if not entering, "the time of the end" as described by the angel Gabriel in 8:17. How close I do not know, but certainly enough for all of us to sit up and pay attention.
In our day to day lives, it is sometimes easier to quote "bury our heads in the sand" and avoid thinking about all of the ugliness and evil that permeates our world, much less to attempt doing something about it. However, knowing what Jesus said in Matthew 24 about keeping watch/observing the signs and about the state of readiness of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, should warn us against doing just that.
Times are hard, and frankly, they are going to get harder. But I also believe God's grace is going to be grow stronger and sweeter for believers in these days! As the warfare and spiritual activity pick up and you find yourself worried, frightened, or even breathless like Daniel - don't be tempted to shut it out and insulate yourself, but rather face it head on and seek comfort in the strengthening power of the Scriptures and the touch of God. I believe this is God's lion shout to His church, the body of Christ, today through His incredible Word: DON'T BE AFRAID...FOR YOU ARE VERY PRECIOUS TO ME. PEACE! BE ENCOURAGED! BE STRONG!"