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Do not be anxious but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)


Our junior high students were ready, they were full of energy, anticipation and nervous laughter, one of them yelled, “White water rafting! Wow! I’ve never done anything like this,” another student piped up, “ready to go?” as he buckled his seat belt in the van in our driveway that would take us there.

I had been preoccupied with a family matter and I answered soberly, “I thought about canceling the trip several times, because we have not received our son Tom’s phone call.” He was a missionary doctor in Nigeria. His young son Jesse had been bitten by a rabid dog. We had the results from the sample Tom sent to the Center for Disease Control. Tom lived in the bush of Nigeria and needed to travel two hours to the big city of Jos to get to a phone. My son desperately needed the results so Jesse could receive proper treatment but we were taking the youth on a rafting trip.

Just then my wife remembered, “Did you think to put the bailing buckets in the car?”

“I’ll go get them,” I said. As I entered my home, the telephone rang, It was our son, I proceeded to give Tom the results we had received, “Tom, here are the results…”

This event reminded me of the many biblical promises, such as Philippians 4:6, God makes to answer our prayers. But often His timing does not correspond with ours.

 From Africa’s distant land

Came the call that showed God’s hand.

The timing was the Lord’s not ours,

Patiently to teach us by His powers.


Our clocks and God’s are often not in synchronization.