After my sophomore year of college, I spent the summer in Estes Park, Colorado as a camp counselor with my best friend. We drove out and arrived a day earlier than the camp was expecting us as no one was around when we pulled in. We had some time to kill, so we decided to hike up a mountain called Twin Sisters. Despite not being acclimated, we made it to the top after many, many exhausting hours. Once we started to hike down, we thought it would be quicker to hike through the trees between each switchback trail that we saw (something that is frowned upon in the outdoor community). We thought we were saving so much time by cutting through than actually following the trail.
We continued going straight down without realizing the trail had gone somewhere else and we found ourselves lost. We had no idea where we were. We no longer could see any sign of the trail. No one knew we were even there. No cell phone. Little provisions. Nightfall only a few hours away.
I remember the overwhelming moment when I realized we had no idea where we were. We found ourselves in an impossible situation.
What do you do when you feel as if your situation is impossible and you have no way out?
In Daniel 2, Daniel experienced just that. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him and wanted to know what it meant. But, instead of telling his wise people his dream so they could interpret it, the king decided they must first tell him what the dream was. And if not, they would all be “cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.” (v5) This included Daniel and his friends.
FOCUS DOWN, SEE WHAT’S IMPOSSIBLE
There was nothing Daniel could physically do. This was impossible for any man to accomplish (v11). Impossibility has no human solution. No one to turn to for a solution. We can begin to blame ourselves, our situation, the decisions of others, or even blame God. “Why did you allow this to happen to me?!” And we begin to get down because of our situation. It can appear very overwhelming and we can be so focused on only seeing the impossibility.
FOCUS UP, SEE WHAT’S POSSIBLE
Or, we can call on the name of God. And that is what Daniel did. (v18) He urged God to save him and his friends, and God revealed the mystery. He looked up toward the heavens.
In that moment on the mountainside, there was some desperation prayer happening. And for whatever reason, I looked up through a clearing. When I did, I recognized a cluster of three pine trees that were on the edge of a cliff in the distance. I remember seeing those three pines when we were hiking up near the summit. Those were the last trees before it all became rock, which meant the trail was close to those trees.
We just needed to make our way to those trees and we would find the trail to make our way down again.
God revealed a way out for Daniel when he turned toward heaven and Daniel praised the Name of God. (v20) Do we have the faith to believe He will reveal a way out for when we do the same? Do we focus up when it seems impossible?
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121: 1-2
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