A young friend of mine, not a Christian, was going through a difficult time.
I went round to see her and she told me how she had failed some important exams, how she was struggling to make friends at her new college and how, overall, she felt worthless and miserable.
On top of this, perhaps the final straw, she said that she had now lost the sunglasses she had recently bought online and had loved – and was going on holiday the next day.
‘I’m just so unlucky,’ she said. ‘Bad things always happen to me.’
And, although she’d reordered the sunglasses online that morning, she told me that the website said the delivery would be made in ‘3-5 working days.’ Too late.
As I listened to all this and took into her sad and hopeless face – although even I recognise that having the right sunglasses to take on holiday is not the most pressing need in the world – I felt moved with compassion. And so I said, ‘Let’s pray!’
She looked at me as though I were crazy. But she allowed me to pray.
And this what I prayed.
I prayed simply this: ‘Lord, Lord, please, that the sunglasses arrive today. That the sunglasses arrive today.’ Absolutely nothing else – not that she would feel better, not that she would make new friends or have a good holiday – but simply that the sunglasses would arrive. I wanted her to be encouraged, to know that she was loved.
And guess what?
Twenty minutes later, just before I left, there was a knock at the door. And there was a delivery man standing there and holding a small parcel. It was the sunglasses.
My friend could barely believe it. And neither could I!
Now you probably think that is one of the most absurd and silly stories you have ever heard. I mean, is it right, is it proper to pray for sunglasses deliveries in the first place? Hasn’t God got better things to do with his time?
But after the initial surprise at this spectacular (if somewhat trivial) answer to prayer, I reminded myself of two things.
First, God loves us. And He is closest to us when we are sad and full of self-loathing. And He wants to comfort us, to encourage us and He wants us to know that we are deeply loved.
Secondly, God doesn’t just have ‘all the time in the world’ but He has infinite time – so that He can afford to attend both to sunglasses deliveries and the promotion of world peace at the same time.
When I pray for ‘small things,’ people often ask me whether God hasn’t got more important things to do than finding me a new Church treasurer or encouraging people to come to Bible Reading group.
But I have found, day after day after day, that God wants to shower blessings upon me. That He is performing many miracles every day – if I am only open to see these.
The thing is that God cares about me and my little life in this small corner of His world and in this tiny speck of time that has been allotted to me. And He cares passionately.
If God were a human being and we had to write a To Do List for him, we would of course start it something like this:
- Solve world poverty and hunger
- Stop wars
- Eliminate disease and natural disasters…
And what number would my friend’s sunglasses delivery be?
Well, obviously, it would be over a millionth or billionth on the list – so that, no matter how efficient God was in his time management, a prayer like that would never get answered. And quite rightly.
But God is not a human being.
God is love and the source of all love. And when we connect to Him through prayer, amazing things truly do happen. Both big and small.
It’s not a perfect analogy – but think about how electricity will work both to make us a cup of tea and also to power an incubator that is saving a premature baby’s life. Electricity doesn’t ‘say’ I can’t make you a cup of tea because there are more important things to do with my power.
So remember that God wants to bless you.
That if you are feeling low or full of doubt and self-doubt, He will know this and hear your cries. So reach out to Him in prayer. Have a go. Plug into that incredible unfathomable source of love and blessing.
And experience first hand how God loves to answer your prayers.
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Posted by Martine Oborne