Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)
TITLE: A Daniel Copycat
By Mary MacKinnon
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Carl laughed. He opened the second package for that day. He wasn’t worried about the far future of his coffin, he was more concerned about his present need of a job now that he had finished high school.
Checking the want ads carefully day after day, he found an insurance company that was looking for office help. When he applied, they scheduled him for the routine physical that all employees were required to take.
That night as he shuffled into the house, his family knew something desperate was troubling him.
“What’s wrong, Carl?” his mother asked.
“They think I may have a cancerous testicle,” he answered.
Everyone breathed sighs of dismay. “We were always afraid that might be a problem,” his mother said. “You had that first operation when you were a year old. One of your testicles was removed then because they were afraid of gangrene.”
Carl dropped his head into his hands. The next few days were spent in doctor appointments and examinations. By the end of the week he was scheduled for an operation. The doctors didn’t try to shield him from the truth. There was little hope of recovery. The problem was well advanced, maybe beyond help of an operation.
Amazingly, he came through the operation fine and before long he was declared free of cancer. His whole attitude on life changed. The smoking stopped. He was going to take better care of his body now. In view of his almost miraculous recovery, he began to think that God must have a purpose for his life and had many talks with the pastor.
One day he announced to the family, “I’m planning to go to Bible School and maybe become a preacher.”
He enrolled and was accepted in a well-accredited local Bible School. The four years were difficult, with him working part time to pay the tuition but he got through. It was a happy day when he received his diploma.
He started looking for churches where he could serve, but hit an obstacle. In reading his Bible one day, he found a chilling prohibition, “No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.” He plunged into deep depression as he felt his future as a preacher blocked.
“What can I do now?” he asked the family. “Have I wasted this four years?”
He shared his sorrow and disappointment with the pastor who came to counsel him. The man opened his Bible and asked, “You remember the story of Daniel, don’t you?”
“You remember what a privileged place he had in Babylon under several different rulers?”
“Did it seem like God’s blessing was on him?”
“With all those miracles? It had to be.”
“But did you know that Daniel was a eunuch?”
“No. I didn’t.” Surprise lifted the cloud from his face and his eyes sparkled more than they had since he heard the word “cancer”.
“He was. Still God used him in a tremendous way. That prohibition was given to Israel when they were being formed as a nation, probably to prevent pagan practices from creeping in. Some pagans mutilated their children and this was probably what God wanted to prevent.”
Carl’s eyes brightened even more. Maybe there was hope after all.
The pastor continued, “Don’t you think if God still wanted to stop people with this problem from serving him, he would never have used Daniel as he did. Instead Daniel served in extremely high regard for many years. Why not take him as your example?”
Carl listened. He took to heart that advice and applied to a small church that had been closed for lack of a preacher and began to build up the congregation again. Before long, the church was thriving and he was recognized as a powerful preacher. An invitation came to pastor a church in Arizona.
Years later his sister visited and sat through a Sunday service. She was tremendously blessed by his message and commented later to him, “How sad it would have been, Carl, if you had just listened to that one verse of Scripture without seeing God’s stamp of approval on Daniel.”
At Carl’s funeral, many people wept because the one who had led them to know Jesus Christ as Savior had gone home to Him. Carl’s body had been damaged but his spirit soared and he helped others to soar also.
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