The Bible says the greatest and most powerful being in the universe loves us and is on our side. Yet it adds that this great, powerful and loving being is not always greatly concerned about our ease and comfort.
The great lover of our souls sometimes is disturbingly slow in giving us what we want. Worse, sometimes he refuses and brings the exact opposite of what we want. But these disappointments have their compensations. The most deserving soul that ever lived had his life cut short by a wicked and barbaric execution. Yet then he came out of the grave.
In our lives God can demonstrate great power and intricate planning to suddenly lift us safely out of an impending disaster, or cut short a major or minor trial. Other times he leaves us in the disaster with only a promise that it will be better in the end, and a surprising calmness that as bad as this gets, the promises are still precious. Why make promises when he could just deliver us?
What then is prayer? Going to him with all the messiness of our lives, acknowledging that the messiness is greater than our ability to distract ourselves or keep going in our own willpower, to celebrate the certainty of the promises while embracing the uncertainty of how those promises will be implemented in our here and now. And thankfulness for the unique and unpredictable path he's led us on up to now. And worship, that his greatness and love and perfection can never be celebrated enough, even as we remain uncertain what he will do next.