Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel. (Dan. 1:9)

MY PARENTS ARE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE. Though they didn’t start out with much—both were immigrants from Europe to Canada after World War II—they built a wonderful life, successful career, and amazing family. Mom and Dad didn’t have the opportunity to attend college, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t. For most of their lives, they never traveled far beyond our home in Ontario; I traveled the world before I was thirty. I’ve had a great life, largely because of the hard work and sacrifice of my parents. They opened many doors for me.

Daniel had that same experience at the king’s court. He was getting somewhere, and fast; a rising star among the young nobles. But it wasn’t him. It was God. Sure, Daniel did his part, just as I worked hard in the Christian school my parents paid for. But like me, Daniel knew that he was being shown favor from someone greater than himself.

It is tempting to believe that the good lives we enjoy are our own doing. After all, we work hard, make wise choices, and try to do what’s right. Yet every day we wake up in a set of favorable circumstances that make many things possible: health, opportunity, a community of faith, peace, a prosperous nation, a supportive family. Remember, it’s not you. It’s God.

Count your blessings today, thanking God for each one.

Heather Gemmen Wilson is the author of the Global Warning Series (WPH), a fiction series for preteens, and she inspires young minds as a professor of creative writing.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.