Our Northern Star


Writing has always been a significant part of my life. My first poem was about my sister’s cat, Tiger, and his antics on the Gulf shores. Sitting under the willow tree and listening to the cry of the seagulls and the waves lap the shoreline inspired me. I consider writing a gift of the Lord and a very therapeutic tool.
I often ponder where I would be without the presence of my Lord, as He is my true Northern Star. His scripture serves as a compass, guiding me towards a better way of life. I find hope and peace within His word, which reveals many hidden mysteries.
Like many of you, I sometimes find myself between the proverbial “rock and a hard place,” I find the Word of God genuinely beneficial. Once, as I studied the Book of Daniel, I discovered four truths that have helped me face many obstacles in my life.
When King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his men to capture young, intelligent, and good-looking men from the tribe of Judah, Daniel, Mishale, Haniniah, and Azariah were among the many captured that day. These young men were to be trained in the ways of the Chaldean people. The first order of business was a name change. Daniel’s new name was Belteshazzar, Hananiah’s was Shadrach, Mishael’s was Meshach, and Azariah’s was Abednego (Daniel 1:6-7).
Truth #1: The enemy will always try to change your name. The Lord says you are the head; the Enemy says you are the tail. God has named you “above all things.” The enemy changes your name to “beneath all things” (Deuteronomy 28:13). The Lord has called you victorious. The enemy calls you a failure. The king changed the names of the four young men but could not change their hearts from serving God. Stay focused on God, and don’t let anyone change who you are created to be.
Truth #2: The young men remained obedient to the Lord. When they had an opportunity to eat from the king’s table, they chose to stay at the Lord’s table. Often, we are tempted by things in this world that contradict God’s ways. Concentrating on Biblical truth will keep us from the enemy’s temptations and strengthen us. The Lord will reward obedience with wisdom and understanding (Daniel 1:8, 17).
Truth #3: Our first action should be praying to God when faced with seemingly impossible situations. Daniel was given the order to know and interpret the king’s dream or be put to death. Daniel trusted that God would give him the knowledge and discernment necessary to succeed. He and his three companions prayed for a resolution to their predicament. While Daniel slept that night, God revealed the answers he needed to understand King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. As a result, their lives were spared, and they were greatly rewarded (Daniel 2).
Truth #4: It is important to praise God in all situations, good or bad. According to Psalm 22:3, God is present in the praises of His people. Daniel and his friends praised God for hearing their prayers, and we, too, should praise the Lord even when facing challenging circumstances. By offering our praises, we can find guidance from God, who is like a Northern Star guiding us homeward. He knows us by name and has created us to walk in His presence. So, let us walk with Him today in obedience, prayer, and praise and be known as His redeemed ones.
Psalm 119:11-12 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.

Cheryl Mixon-Cruce is Pastor of Ochlockonee Bay United Methodist Church and Sopchoppy United Methodist Church.