Living by the scriptures

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees, three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. - Dan. 6:10.

While earning a master's degree a few years ago, I was faced with the challenge of "comprehensive finals." Each student was given 72 hours to respond in a 40-page paper to three essay questions. The format in which the paper had to be submitted was extremely precise. The subjects of the three questions were not known before the beginning of the appointed time. I had heard many horror stories of others who went almost without food or sleep in order to finish in the time limit. Originally my test dates were scheduled to start on a Wednesday and end on Saturday. Because of a mix-up at the university, they were changed to a Friday to Monday timetable. I didn't know what to do. I needed the Lord's help to pass my finals, but how could I ask Him for help if I stayed home from church to work on it on the Sabbath?

I had planned to use Friday morning to study the book explaining the paper's format. Instead, I picked up my scriptures. As I read about Daniel's resolve to serve the Lord no matter what the consequences, I became filled with the same conviction. God had delivered Daniel from lions. He could also help me.

Friday afternoon I picked up my questions and got to work. By Saturday night I was almost finished. Sunday I attended my meetings, and let the Spirit of the Sabbath calm my soul. Monday morning I was up very early to finish the paper. Thanks to my Heavenly Father's help, the paper was completed, in the approved format, and handed in with time to spare. I passed "comps," and had not a horror story but a sweet, faith-promoting memory to go with it.

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