Last year I ordered a Christmas present online. The company usually delivers within a couple of days, so when the parcel didn’t arrive on day three, I phoned.
I was assured that delivery was guaranteed before Christmas, and that it should arrive the next day.
A couple more days passed, and still no parcel.
I phoned again.
This time the parcel was actually in the delivery van. Still nothing arrived.
Over the next two weeks I was told the item was out of stock, no order had been received, the order had already been delivered, and a long series of other things.
Feeling distinctly cross, I phoned one last time and asked for the number of the company’s head office.
I told head office my long tale of anxiety and frustration, and you’ll be relieved to hear that the parcel arrived the next day, along with a letter of apology and a gift voucher.
Of course, mine was quite a small worry in the great scheme of things – the sort of worry we all have.
Some of us have much bigger worries. But whatever the worry or frustration is, it’s a good idea to talk to head office, and the head office of life is God, so we need to pray about the situation.
To do that we have to make time and ‘mental space’ to focus on our problem and exactly what it is that is worrying us, and on God, his power and his promise to answer the prayers of his children.
And God does answer our prayers, though it might not always be in the way we expect or hope for.
He does what is best for us but, like most children, we don’t always know what that is and we don’t always like it – at least not at the time!
But we need to remember that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and in God’s great eternity of time we’ll see not only that he has answered our prayers, but the wisdom and love with which has done it.
In the meantime, I find great comfort in these words from St Matthew’s gospel: “Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow or reap or gather into barns – yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”