Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan used to famously say  to little children who wanted to know how they could be as strong and powerful as he was when they grew up. He always responded “Eat your vitamins (vegetables) and say your prayers”.

Have your parents ever forced you to eat your vegetables , sprouts, broccoli, have you ever grimaced at that thought?

Have you ever wondered why ,especially when sweets and chocolates taste sooo much better?

Well sometimes in life what first appears to be for our good isn’t always and what may first taste (appear) bitter may help us grow and develop our character and Christian life.

The story of Daniel is one my favourite childhood stories , in fact it’s my middle name… well one of them. Daniel’s story is one that we can all relate to and one we can, like the song says ‘be a Daniel’

We see in Daniel 1:5 that the king makes an order that all the israelite young men eat drink and wine. But Daniel and his friends, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah, (Abednego) refused to but rather wanted to eat vegetables as God had advised them to do.

We are introduced to Daniel in Daniel 1:8 as a typical young person, stubborn, defiant , refusing to eat what he was ordered to by the king , but instead challenged this by giving  them nothing but vegetables for 10 days and compare them to the other men who are and drank wine like the king ordered.

Daniel 1:12-13 NIV

But Daniel wasn’t stubborn in fact Daniel was being obedient but more importantly, trusting that what God wanted for him was for his good even though he may not have understood it (much like we don’t understand why broccoli doesn’t taste as good as chocolate!) However Daniel was to be proved right, as in 10 days he was faster, stronger because he ate as God advised him to.

It took bravery for Daniel to not only go against the majority but stand up to a powerful king.

Have you ever felt it hard to stand for what you believe in?

Have you ever felt it difficult to understand God’s plans?

We can learn from Daniel that it is easy to be stand up for God when you trust him as he will prove you right in the end, even for something as small as what God you eat.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

For we are given God’s promises and only if we stand for him, stand for the good he wants from us, will we see the benefits

So the next time your parent ask for you to eat your vegetables and say your prayers, you will say….

 

Christopher Roberts