Blog #4

I wonder if you were able to join in with the cheering and applause in honour of all those that work for the NHS last night? The sound echoed around our neck of the woods and must have been a real encouragement to those fighting the virus on the front line. It certainly encouraged me to hear that vote of confidence in our doctors and nurses, not to mention all the auxiliary staff. 

It also made me think of all the good there is in our society whether it be our health care system, our schools, transport services or our food supply. All these things I take for granted virtually every day in normal life and yet I'm being reminded of them now. 

As I walked into a local supermarket yesterday to get essential supplies, the security guard saluted as I passed through the temporarily set up barriers and added a cherrful 'good luck!' as I went in. I took this to be a friendly greeting rather than a forwarning of the imminent danger lurking within the aisles, but I was struck by the guard's determination to be cheerful and encouraging in the face of adversity.

Daniel seems to have been a particularly serious-minded young man but in Daniel 11:1 we read that, 'in the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him'. It appears that Daniel decided to be actively encouraging towards the head of state and thus, in so doing, provide protection. I don't know how Daniel decided to carry out this mission but I would guess that it involved two aspects: firstly, Daniel would often remind the king of God's authority over all things and His power to save him. Secondly, Daniel would have been a close friend, showing kindness and brotherly love, to protect the king's mental and emotional health.

We can be 'sons and daughters of encouragement' everyday if we choose and God might direct us towards those we least expect to need it. Let's ask the Father to show us who they might be.