RunningAway001CTMAs I begin this journey of Running Away From Me, I decided to look to someone who had to get outside of who they were, in order to allow God to use them. This led me to Daniel, someone I believe to be one of the most authentically humble people of the Bible.

Often when I go in search of the profound, I stumble upon the ordinary. This is the case in the Book of Daniel. While there is much that is profound in the account of Daniel, I was taken aback by two little words. In the account, we see Daniel sharing his first recorded interpretation with King Nebuchadnezzar. As he shared the dream and his interpretation, he said to the king:

Daniel 2:39 NIV
[39] “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.

There they are—those two little words that led me on today’s GodPonder—”After you.” These two simple words, used to explain to the king what was to come, got me thinking about my life. “After you.” What will come after me? As I write these words, I am back in my living room in my old familiar “pondering chair.” I had been displaced for some time as we had new flooring put in our home. This, together with a few new windows, some new landscaping, and a fire pit in the back yard have all helped to make “our” home the way we want it. But I can imagine there may come a day when someone else moves in and says, “What were they thinking?”

Even the “permanent” home remodeling I do is only for a short season of life. All of the stress that I carry about today, and my desire to accomplish so much, needs to be tempered by the simple fact that I am not the end. Life on this planet does not hang in the balance based on my actions. As I struggle daily with depression, I need to learn to lighten up, and rejoice that someone will come after me. The sainted Rev. Ed Peters once told me, “The Lord of the Church is the Lord of the Church and we are not smart enough to mess it up so bad that he can’t fix it.” It was his way of telling me to relax.

As I ponder the fact that there will be an “after me,” I rejoice in the knowledge that there is One who came before me.

14  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.
Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV)

We all appreciate being able to hear from someone who has experienced something we are soon to be experiencing. I remember getting ready for my first colonoscopy and talking to someone who had already been through it. It was a big help to me, knowing what to expect. It is also why support groups are so effective, and it is what makes mentoring successful—shared experiences. The writer of Hebrews understood what it meant to know that Jesus had gone before them. It gave him confidence and hope.

16  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

So take time today to Ponder and relax in the fact that someone will come “after you,” and find confidence and hope in the fact that someone has come before you. Listen to this advice from the author of Hebrews:

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

SOMETHING TO PONDER: What is your reaction to the fact that someone will come “after you”? How does knowing that Jesus came before you give you hope? Join The Conversation