Daniel 9:23 “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.”
God is not slow to act, but we are often slow in recognizing what He is saying and doing. The whole matter of time gets complicated, because God is outside of time and we are in the flow of it. That is actually a logical requirement, because as physicists tell us, time is a function of the physical universe, so time did not exist until God spoke the universe into existence. We don’t really have good words to talk about it! Peter had the right idea when he said, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9) We experience time in a linear fashion, but God sees it all at once. We experience Him as “was” and “will be,” but He is the eternal “I AM.” And all that brings us back to this verse. God is aware of our prayers and He responds appropriately, because He knows our heart and He knows what needs to happen. Gabriel spoke to Daniel using words and concepts Daniel could perhaps grasp, but they were an imperfect reflection of God’s timeless reality. That’s why God has spoken so many times in dreams and visions: normal terminology just doesn’t stretch that far. We aren’t to “trip out” over all of this, being “so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good,” but rather accept that our grasp of things is at best toned down several orders of magnitude from God’s reality. As David recognized, “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:14) The amazing thing is that God loves His little “dust balls!” When we pray, we are to remember His love and love Him in return, trusting that His answers are already provided, whether we see them, or whether they are what we expect, or not.
God seldom uses dreams and visions to speak to me, but He has done so many times with Cathy. This morning she couldn’t stop talking about a unique and detailed dream she had just had that included a number of physically and temporally impossible features. If she needs to understand it, God will give her the revelation just as He did for Daniel. I need to remember that even as I read the Bible, knowing that my words, and even my mind, aren’t big enough to grasp natively all that God is saying. I am to pray with boldness and faith, and at the same time not try to dictate to God how He is to answer my prayers. I am currently in the flow of time, but by the grace of God I too am an eternal being, united with Him in Christ. That tension is at times uncomfortable, but I am to be at peace with it and rejoice in the overwhelming grace of my Lord.
Father, thank You for this Word. As much as You have made me a man of words, sometimes Your truth is so big that it makes a mockery of my attempts to describe it. Thank You. I don’t want to follow a small God! Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, so that Your will may be manifested in and through me on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!