While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight... He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore consider the message and understand the vision." ~ Daniel 9: 21-23
Lions and tigers and bears, Oh my!
Okay, wrong story. Daniel's story is often our story. Perhaps without the drama of the dark den filled with lions, but we sometimes find that our life is filled with darkness, and let's face it, anyone who has taken one step out of their home, well, let's just say, there are some big ole lions out there!
With such characters like Daniel, comes new understandings of how God works. While we know that Daniel faces lions who suddenly weren't hungry. A man Jonah get's swallowed by a fish and is not digested. Three men are tossed into a fiery furnace and walk away without as much as a tan. All of these situations are not just hard to wrap our minds around, but the fact that they survived leaves us asking ourselves, "What just happened?"
I am reminded that God does not protect them from the situation happening. God doesn't sweep in and destroy everyone who seems to have a problem with these Biblical greats. Instead, they become Biblical greats because God protects them in the situation.
So it is with us.
As the angel Gabriel shares with Daniel, "An answer has already been given before you even begin to pray."
For each of us, God has provided us with the answer to a situation long before it happens. It's just that we often will end up in a situation that finally gets our attention to realize what the answer is. I lovingly refer to these as life's "speed bumps." Events that happen in our lives that cause us to slow down, or to stop what we are doing so that we may take time to listen.
While many of us have begun the new week, trying to be part of the "rat race," what have asked God to help you with, and in doing so, did you wait, or even hear the answer? So often when we do ask God about a situation, we are so quick on the "Amen" that we miss the answer.
Praying that we all may learn to listen when we ask God for advice.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.