How do you react when an impossible demand is made of you?
Do you rise to the occasion with the attitude this is not going to beat me? Or do you shrink away and give up?
At one point in my career, I was selected for a prestigious position within a magazine publishing company. I was thrilled. However, a few days into the job, I realized I had been recruited to sort out the poor choices made by the person in charge, who now worked for me.
I was determined to do what I could to improve the situation, even though the hurdles seemed immense.
Along the way I made one decision that infuriated my new boss. Although I did turn around the department I headed up, the relationship with my boss never fully recovered.
I could have learned from the lesson Daniel teaches us when faced with unachievable orders from those in charge.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream. In ancient times, dreams were considered to be messages from the gods. So, a nightmare would have been cause for alarm.
Nebuchadnezzar called together the astrologers who worked for him and demanded they interpret his dream. These men, trained in the interpretation of dreams, would have referred to dream books—manuals, if you like—containing sample dreams with keys to their interpretation.
However, on this occasion, there was a catch. The king wanted his wise men to tell him what he had dreamed.
Not only did the king make an unreasonable demand but if they did not follow through, they would lose their heads.
Of course, the astrologers could not fulfill the king’s order and so they were rounded up for execution, and this included Daniel and his friends.
Daniel, troubled by this outcome, stepped up and asked the King for more time, which he gave him.
Daniel, however, didn’t use the time to solve the issue. Daniel went home and called on God. Daniel prayed.
Daniel got his friends to pray, too.
More than this, Daniel pleaded with God for mercy—for their lives to be spared. When you’re about to lose your head, only one thing mattered—turning to the One who had been sovereign over their situation from the beginning. Four young men, probably in their teens, got on their knees in their living room and turned to God.
Daniel had to deliver—he told the king he would. Daniel didn’t have anything to lose, except his trust that God would not come through for him. But, he knew that would not be the case.
Daniel’s behavior made me realize I should have taken more time in my own work situation. I should have gone home and pleaded with God to help me.
I thought my day-to-day decision-making within a secular company was of no interest to God. From Daniel’s story, we know it is.
We have already learned God selects us for this position for his purpose,
We know God is in total control, even of what happens within our work situations. He has a plan even in secular work.
So, you can and should turn to him especially when your studies or line of work put you in a difficult situation, whether it is working for an unreasonable boss or studying under a hard-marking professor.
Perhaps you, or your colleagues, have to deliver and you’re worried if you don’t, you’ll lose your job.
If it is possible, ask for time. Use that time to pray. Ask God to help you deliver on your bosses’ requests.
Not only pray yourself but get other people to pray with you. Turn to friends and family who understand the predicament you are in.
When we face the impossible, God makes it possible.
We must rely on God in whatever situation we are in.
Dear God, I face what looks like an impossible situation right now in my work. I come to you knowing you are in full control. You can turn around the impossible to be possible. I’m desperate for you to help me. Amen.
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Linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee For Your Heart.