Daniel 1: 8 - 17
Feeling Alone in a Foreign Community
I don’t know what has inspired you to travel so far for your elective placement. But one thing I do know is that the environment you now find yourself in is very different to home. Perhaps you are wondering how you will cope.
In this passage we find Daniel and his three friends in a very similar situation to you. The king of Babylon has taken them to his palace for a very privileged education. However, the environment they found themselves in was completely foreign to them. They were surrounded by people who did not know the God of the Hebrews. Their fellow students had a very different lifestyle, enjoying all that the king had to offer. In spite of the pressure from this foreign community with its decadent way of life, Daniel and his three friends chose to be different (v8). They decided to make a stand and show those around them a different and better way. Ultimately this brought them great reward (vs15, 17).
Working in a mission hospital far from home can be very daunting. Like Daniel and his friends, you will find yourself surrounded by many people who know nothing of your faith or way of life. Some of them may mock you or be critical of your way of life. They may not appreciate why you live your life the way you do. They may, like the chief of the eunuchs (v10), wrongly suppose that your way of life is restrictive and damaging. At such times, like Daniel and his friends, you need to rest assured in the promises you have from God. If you believe in His ways and obey His commands, He will be with you no matter how difficult the task ahead may appear. Although you won’t always be rewarded like Daniel (v17), you can find assurance in the knowledge of your salvation through Christ and the great reward that awaits you when this life is over.
Prayer and Action
Spend some time asking God for wisdom, strength and the determination to live distinctively as a Christian. Ask Him to help you put His word into practice each day.