It was a beautiful and bright day in early September 1992. We had completed our training and the time had come to put it into practice. The aeroplane taxied and took off and soon we were being given our final briefing. We knew the drill. We had practised it on the ground. But although I knew what I should do, that isn’t what happened. On exiting the aeroplane at 2300 feet, I should have stretched out my arms and legs into a large X-shape, then counted aloud: “1 – thousand, 2 – thousand, 3 – thousand, 4 – thousand, check canopy.” At which point I was to look up and see a beautifully inflated parachute over my head. Instead, I jumped out, stretched out my arms and legs as wide as they would go and screamed “AAAHHHHHHHHH!” When my screams stopped and I looked up to see my parachute fanned out above me it was the most perfect moment of my life!
For many of us, turning to God in prayer in times of great need is just like that. We know what we should do, we just don’t do it. We doubt God’s goodness, his power to act, his love for us, or whether he’s listening at all. And instead of falling on our knees in humble prayer we try and solve all our problems ourselves.
We are not alone in that, as we’ll see in our reading this Sunday, but King Hezekiah learned his lesson quickly. And if we are wise, it’s a lesson we will learn and put into practice daily in the ordinary things of life, so when the times of crises come we automatically turn to the Good, Almighty and Sovereign God we know so well.