I was late.
My husband was tense.
It was a Friday morning and my husband, Steve, was driving me to the airport for a speaking engagement in Kentucky. We were one of a parade of cars inching our way down the highway, feeling our way through the curtain of fog. With squinted eyes, white knuckles, and steady determination, Steve kept his eyes trained on the taillights in front of him.
“Lord, please delay my flight so I can make it,” I prayed.
At 8:59, I bolted from the car to attempt to make my 9:00 flight. At the security checkpoint, I stripped off my boots, jacket, earrings, necklace, and watch, pushed my carry on through the x-ray monster’s mouth, and walked through the metal arches.
“Ma’am, we’re going to have to check inside your carry-on,” the security guard sang. “There’s something in there we can’t identify.”
“No, please don’t,” I pled. “I’m about to miss my flight. They’ve already boarded.”
“No, please don’t,” isn’t something that goes over too well with security guards.
“Sorry,” she said, as she slowly and methodically picked through my personals. Inside she discovered a bag of twenty-five silver scripture bracelets that read, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I almost laughed.
I jogged to the gate only to discover that God had answered my prayer! The flight was delayed due to the fog! Hallelujah! God is good!
I dared not tell the disgruntled passengers that the flight delay was my fault – an answer to prayer.
After a two-and-a-half hour delay, we finally made it to Atlanta, where I was to change planes and continue on to Kentucky. However, the Kentucky flight had been cancelled. Not delayed…cancelled.
They put me standby with forty other very unhappy people. I was number thirty-two on the list, and the plane was booked solid. I called the conference coordinator and gave her the news. Prognosis – not good. My attitude – even worse.
Now, I have left out lots of frustrating minute details, but let’s just say I was not happy. No one was cooperating: the weather, the airlines, or the One who controls it all. At least that’s how I felt. Pull up a chair beside me and watch what God did to adjust my attitude and put the day’s frustrations in perspective.
I sat at a jam-packed gate filled with angry, disgruntled passengers. B12. I looked like them, felt like them, acted like them. You with me? Not a happy camper. Not a good representative of Jesus. Not saying “God is good.”
Then someone walked up and had the nerve to interrupt my pity-party.
“Excuuuuuse me,” the airport employee shouted. “Let’s cleeeeeear the aisle, people. This plane is preparing to disembark. Cleeeeear the way. Make room.”
She walked over to the door where the passengers would exit the plane and positioned a red wheelchair. Then she was joined by another, then another, then another. I had a front row seat and facing me – staring me in the face – were seven attendees standing behind seven shiny red wheelchairs – waiting for passengers to disembark the plane.
Then God spoke to my heart. I suspect He had been trying to get my attention all day long, but I was too wrapped up in my own pouty self-centered attitude to listen.
Sharon, which side of the aisle would you rather be on. The standby side or the side waiting for those who can’t stand at all.
Suddenly, my little trials and tribulations of the day seemed very small. So what if my flight was canceled. I could walk. So what if I didn’t make it to the speaking engagement. Did I not think God could use someone else to speak to those precious women? I was not bound to a wheelchair but bound to God who is in charge of the moments of my days.
I stopped whining and began thanking God – for eyes that see, ears that hear, fingers that feel, hands that help, lips that speak. I realized that I needed to focus less on the air traffic controllers and more on the One who controls the air. A little fog never stopped Him from accomplishing all that He has purposed, and if He wanted me to sit in that airport, I could trust that He had a great plan.
I did not make it on that flight, but all forty of us on standby did get out of Atlanta that night. A family of five made it to the wedding of a beloved son, a soldier in uniform returned to the arms of his waiting mom, and I made it to the conference with thirty minutes to spare.
God had it under control all along. He just needed to lift the fog in my own heart before I could see clearly to serve Him.
How about you? Are you frustrated with a certain situation in your life? Have you been just a little bit grumpy about it? Here’s an idea. Let’s turn our pity party into a praise God party. Spend some time thanking Him for His many blessings. Leave a comment and tell me one thing you are thankful for today.