Have you ever watched a cow grazing. It just meanders in the grass chewing the cud, growing fatter by the day. In the heat of the day it will even lie down and rest. Just dumb and fattened. Nothing seems to perturb it – and the butcher loves it that way.
And so it is with us, when times are good we grow fat and lazy.
Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
But real growth – physically, intellectually, spiritually – always comes during times of adversity.
Physically we grow when we push the body through exercise… a workout in a Gym is tough! Or, we choose to eat the right foods and watch our diet – no sweets! Adversity.
Intellectually we grow when we read and study and push ourselves through exams or to a next level of understanding. Mental stimulation through adversity.
Spiritually we grow when we face times of adversity and call out to the One who makes all things possible. When times are tough we tend to pray more fervently, more often. We desire to be closer to God then, more than any other time.
All through our life we are faced with adversity or challenges that will demand a response for breakthrough. Choose to work diligently through adversity and we come out the other side to reap a reward.
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Are times tough for you at the moment?
Hopefully it is, for this is your opportunity for physical, intellectual or spiritual growth. And once the adversity passes, may you come out the other side, 10 times better and ready for the next one.