In my devotional reading a verse caught my attention in a passage I've read many times before. It's found in the story of Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2. Daniel was under extreme pressure. Not only did the king want his dream interpreted, he wanted someone to tell him what his dream was to prove they weren't making something up. In fact, the king was so angry with and suspicious of his astrologers that he was planning to end all of their lives unless they could do what he asked. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were on the hit list (v.13).
It's under this kind of stress (threat of death!) that Daniel goes to see the king. And here is how scripture records this interaction:
I know that my first instinct wouldn't be to calmly ask the homicidal king for some time. I would try to find a solution and bring it to him or hide and beg God for an answer that would save my life. Both of those might be valid action plans but Daniel asks for time.
My heart was challenged by this. How often to I rush to a solution without taking the time to really ask the Lord what His heart is? How often do I make plans and then ask God to bless them instead of spending time in prayer, waiting in His presence until I know the direction that He wants me to take?
Andrew Murray says it like this: "Learn to say about every want, failure, or lack of grace you need, 'I have not waited enough on God. He would have given me all I needed in due season.'" (from Power in Prayer & Waiting on God)
So let me encourage you to ask for time. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you take the time you need to pray for your needs and wait for His answer. Ask for time from those around you who are pressing you for answers that you don't have. And then take the time to slow down in a "tyranny of the urgent", stressed-out world to hear the voice of God speaking. And then, step out in obedience to what He says.
Asking for time along with you,