Sometimes there’s just no point in debating outcomes – call it what you will; head over heart, logic over longing, or the law of cause and effect. Some days our circumstances simply justify that our fate is sealed; sealed with a large stone rolled in front of any way out. In Daniel’s case, the onlookers who observed him cast into the den of lions which was sealed shut with the stone knew that he couldn’t come out alive. Once that stone was laid at the mouth of the den, his case was closed. But maybe the king was onto something when he declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” (Daniel 6:16). Just as the king must have suspected, it’s in those dark and seemingly inescapable places, that our God knows a thing or two about working a mighty deliverance.
Daniel’s story reminds me of another miraculous release from a cave sealed with a large stone. Remember Lazarus? He had been dead and buried for four days and was obviously not coming out from his tomb alive. His circumstances were as undebatable as Daniel’s, but there again, our God was working something miraculous behind the stone that had sealed his fate. Scripture reports that “Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone’. And the man who had died came out.” (John 11:38-39,44). To the glory of God, the miracle behind the stone was revealed to the onlookers as the Deliverer delivered His child from the grave.
But maybe even better than both Daniel and Lazarus’s stories of release, was when Jesus himself was freed from the grave. “And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’ And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back – it was very large.” (Mark 16:2-4) Behind that stone the ultimate act of Deliverance had occurred. In all three cases, their fates appeared as sealed as the caves and graves they were in. But behind those stones, our God was exhibiting his mighty power over their circumstances.
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, that very same power over our circumstances is available to us. Deliverance from (or sometimes through) the dark places we tarry sheds a bright light on the One who calls us out. Scripture promises that in this world we will have trouble – none of us are immune. But scripture also promises a way out. I wonder what’s holding you in a grave right now? Sin…sickness…challenges so big you can’t see the other side? From these pits, caves, and inescapable places we find ourselves in today, let us call out to our Deliverer! Dear beloved, the stone has already been rolled away and the way out is before you. Step out.