Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. (Dan. 1:12)
Expanded Passage: Daniel 1:11-14
I recently started running again. The first day, I woke up motivated. I laced up my shoes and headed out to the city streets, conquering hills, filling my lungs with crisp air, and allowing my thoughts to wander freely. “I love running!” I declared emphatically. The second day, I was significantly less motivated to run. My muscles ached, my stamina lagged, and the hills seemed impossible to climb. “Why am I running again?” I wondered. But I kept at it, and by the end of the first week, I had hit my stride, quite literally.
It takes time to settle into a discipline and begin to see positive results. Daniel knew this, and he knew the benefits not only of a healthy physical diet, but also of healthy spiritual rhythms. He trusted that God would do the work of transformation, but he and his friends would have to be disciplined in sticking to their new eating plan. They trusted God for the outcome, but they had participated in the process.
Whether training our bodies for a marathon or training our hearts and minds as followers of Jesus, we are not merely spectators; we are participants. God does the transforming, while we are responsible for the discipline. We lace up our shoes and hit the streets day after day. And over time, discipline, along with the power of God, transforms us.
Start a new healthy habit today.
Jenn Petersen is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church, Director of Mobilization NYC for International Justice Mission, and co-founder/pastor of Resurrection Life NYC in Manhattan.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.