The following true story demonstrates the great truth found in Daniel 6 – as Daniel, now in his eighties or nineties, is faced with choosing to be faithful in praying publicly to his God, or give in to the laws of the land. Daniel has been in Babylon since he was taken by King Nebuchadnezzar as a teenager – and what change has he seen. Oh, there were occasional tributes to God from Nebuchadnezzar and now Darius and Cyrus but where is the real, lasting change – among the exiles from Judah or the Babylonians? It would seem that living for God doesn’t really change anything – so now would be about as good a time as any to quit – or would it?
In 1940 Vincent and Margaret Crossett were missionaries in Mainland China. They struggled against poverty and paganism in a remote village in order to tell others about Jesus. The work was very slow and difficult, but after much sacrifice a small church was established. The church was no larger than a small Bible study group. Right on the threshold of this small triumph for the kingdom of God, Satan began his work. The Communist takeover of China during the Cultural Revolution forced all missionaries to leave China.
The Crossetts hated to leave. Their fledgling flock of believers hardly seemed ready to withstand the coming onslaught. An atheistic, dictatorial government dedicated to wiping out all Christian influence was beginning its rule with ruthless power. How could the little church survive? From the world’s perspective there was nothing anyone could do. The church seemed destined to die. But Vincent and Margaret did not see through the world’s eyes. They saw through the eyes of faith that their God was faithful to those who honor him. The Crossetts were like faithful family sedans. They continued to do their duty. Though the missionaries were chased out, their prayers were not. For nearly forty years the Crosetts daily kept their prayer window opened toward China. They dutifully prayed in faith that God would one day triumph over Communism. The Crosetts heard nothing of their Chinese friends for forty years, but still they faithfully prayed for God to be victorious in the church they had left behind.
Finally the walls of China came down. As the political climate changed, the nation was opened to western visitors. The Crossetts returned to the village where they had left the tiny, struggling group of believers. There was no small church in the village anymore! Instead, from that Bible study had grown a church of four thousand people! This body of believers had planted dozens of other churches as well, each with a membership of at least a thousand. All the Crossetts did was pray with their prayer window open to the focus of their prayer—China. The God of Daniel is alive and well.
Stortz, Rodney, and R. Kent Hughes. Daniel: The Triumph of God’s Kingdom. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004. Print. Preaching the Word.