The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven.
Two days before Mother’s Day, my husband told me to check a site and see if I want to spend the weekend there. T’was a very nice hotel-resort and it offered half the price for their soft opening. I was thrilled. But with all our expenses coming up (my weekend in Manila, Rilian’s tuition fee, Windsong’s coming), I knew in my heart it wasn’t the right time for such a big treat. So we had to settle for our second best options. The settling part was challenging though. For one, I really don’t know what I want. When we finally agreed to try the best pizza in town, my indecisiveness took over the next day and it brought us to KFC instead. Seeing my husband’s almost-frustrated look, I pleaded for God’s help to save our special day. He did. And we even discovered a good family hangout we never thought we’d want.
Nehemiah’s planned conversation with King Artaxerxes was a big day for him. As a cupbearer, he may have been asked for casual what-do-you-think’s but it was always in the context of the king asking him. Not the other way around. For three to four months, he may have rehearsed the lines in his head. He even fasted for this day to come. I can’t say if his sad face was part of the plan, because it did give him a lot of chills. But it wasn’t when he was most afraid that the Bible noted that He prayed. Interestingly, he called for help at the time of favor and leniency. Obviously it wasn’t because he wasn’t prepared with details. From LOA permission to life protection to log provision, he had it all OC-covered. Why he prayed here was because more that seeking this king’s favor, Nehemiah knew he had to seek God’s first. It probably just lasted a second, but it was THE moment when he surrendered his idea of want and allowed God to move as He wanted.
What is it you want? The question might look like an easy ‘I wanna be a billionaire’ question. But really, do we have an answer for this? We all wished for a chance to face our own instant Artaxerxes (a.k.a. Santa or Alladin’s genie) to fulfill our life’s dreams. But will it really work? Didn’t married tycoons had their list realized but still can’t brag contentment? Truth is, we don’t know what’s best for us. We have no way of controlling what will work, what will fit us and what will not. But we have the God who does. He who holds the future also fashioned our inmost being and our every circumstance to work perfectly together. So given the chance to daily ask anything in prayer, always begin with ‘What is it that you want me to ask, Lord?’ Then yield.