Then one who looked like a mantouched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.” Daniel 10:16-17 (NIV).
Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you couldn’t even function? That’s what happened to Daniel here. He was so overcome with this vision that he was first speechless, then completely weakened. By the time this happened, Daniel was an old man, probably in his eighties, and nearing the end of a long, busy, eventful, and stress-filled life. When the angels appeared to him, and when God Himself appeared in the earlier vision, Daniel was overwhelmed. When this vision occurred, he was spent.
The being conversing with Daniel in this vision isn’t Jesus, but it is one of His angels (https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/2626/who-is-the-man-in-daniels-vision-in-daniel-10). This angel, the one who spoke of Michael then told Daniel that he was esteemed by God, must have been a magnificent sight to see. He looked like a man but was still radiant. He was powerful, amazing to behold, and holy.
Being with the angel drastically affected Daniel. As mentioned, he was overwhelmed. This source, https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/daniel-10/, says that the Hebrew words used to record this vision describe sorrows, and debilitating pain so severe it wracked Daniel deep inside. It was almost as painful as childbirth.
So, again, have you ever been so overwhelmed that you felt like that, that you couldn’t even function? I must admit: that hasn’t happened to me. I was once severely injured in an auto accident, and I have known the agonies of death, separation, and great loss. Too often I let worry overtake me. Sometimes, it has hurt so much to live that I couldn’t imagine pain any worse. Yet I don’t think that’s what Daniel felt. He felt the pain of being so emptied, so drained, so wearied by the weight of these visions that he couldn’t even breathe. In the presence of holiness, Daniel knew he was empty, ready to be filled.
Yet, in the middle of this, God reached out to him by sending Daniel the angel to both reveal His message and to comfort him. Note that the angel touched his lips, imparting divine power and strength so that Daniel might endure. And also note that the angel stood with Daniel, observing and sharing in his distress. Even if we haven’t been overwhelmed in this way, surely God has also abided with us even in our most taxing moments.
For further reading: Isaiah 6:7, Isaiah 21:3, Jeremiah 1:9, Daniel 10:18
Oh Lord, when I am overwhelmed, in pain, in anguish, please stay with me and give me Your holy comfort. Send Your angels to protect and ease me.
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