There is really something quite astounding about mothers. It often appears that they possess supernatural powers. They can see things that the normal human eye cannot see…sense things that are about to happen before they occur…they can see right through the false statements of children and turn anything thing they can find in the pantry or refrigerator into a gourmet masterpiece. Each mother may obtain any one or more of these super powers. My wife possesses the super power of, “vomit radar.” She can tell that one of our children is about to hurl well before the bile appears. “Ryan…go get a bucket and give it to Carissa.”
“Just do it…and you might want to hurry…you have 72 seconds…”
“What? Huh? Fine!...Ok…Here you go Carissa…what did you need a buc…” BLAHHH! “Oh…I see.”
Despite their super powers…mothers need to get away from time to time. There have been a few times when Sarah has had the blessed opportunity of getting away from the home for a few days. This has inevitably left me home to parent the children solo. So far…so good…I began with 4 whole children and I still have 4 mostly whole children…perhaps a few less blood cells…or brain cells…but all in all…we got by.
When Sarah leaves town she will always write down a list of instructions. This list will include items like: Feed the children, bathe children, change diapers, clothe children, pay bills, put the children to bed, repeat, etc…
On one given Sunday afternoon, when Sarah returned from her time away and I was just getting home from church with the children, she asked, “Well, how did it go while i was away?”
“Overall, it went pretty well…I was even able to get the girls to wear dresses this morning!” I said proudly.
“Good for you!...Did Erica go to church with her dress on like that?
“Yeah…why do you ask?
“It’s on backwards?”
Sarah’s lists are actually quite beneficial. She will often give a day by day break down, giving specific instructions for each day that she will be gone. Not only do her lists help me to function, but they also give the children a picture of what to expect while she is gone and a way to target her return. Often, each day will have pieces of encouragement for the family that holds her heart, to spur us on until we are reunited with her. “Mommy loves you…only 3 days left!...Don’t hit your sister!...etc…”
I think God does something similar for His people in Daniel chapter 11. The exile to Babylon is concluding…but there is still a great deal of trouble yet to come. In fact, the Jews are about to enter into what has become known as the “silent period”…the period of about 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. What I find to be so striking is that God is giving them some very specific instructions…pictures…encouragements…to get them through the “silent” years. The silent years are not about God abandoning his people…they are about how God has prepared them and encouraged them as they await the great plans that He has in store for them.
We know God is still at work in these silent years…He is doing everything that He promised that He would do…but his revelation has been stopped for the moment. Now it is up to the Jews to read and remember what God has said…and eagerly wait for the coming of the Messiah, which has been promised through the prophet Daniel. The Jews can read and know that God will not remain silent…He will be coming again…this time, in the flesh!
When we find ourselves in times of “silence,” may we remember the promises that God has given to us in his Scriptures. He has more to come…He is coming again…He has given us His note…His instruction…His encouragement, for us to cling to, as we await His return.