In particular, this is what I learned as I persevered in faith when unable to get on six successive standby flights out of Anchorage across the space of 26 hours. God is the one that caused me to persevere, as I did not have the strength within myself.
Why didn’t I just purchase a ticket istead of waiting on standby? First and foremost, I realized I would rather wait in the airport and donate to the Global Food Crisis or Sponsor Another Child through Compassion International than pay $506.00 for a ticket I didn’t need to purchase! But there were many other lessons and blessings of the Lord in this trial.
Here is a list of flights missed (because no standby seats were available), and why I believe God allowed me to miss them:
August 28 — Anchorage to Denver — 11:25 pm — Blessed to have spent an extra night in Anchorage with our son, Chris
August 29 — Anchorage to Chicago — 7:10 am — Learned to trust God rather than my own plans and schemes, and to rest in Him without fears or anxieties
August 29 — Anchorage to San Francisco — 2:07 pm — Learned to trust He is Present even when I can’t see Him (just like Denali)
August 29 — Anchorage to Chicago — 8:06 pm — Learned how to handle situations when God seems to be hurting us rather than helping
August 29 — Anchorage to Dallas — 8:55 pm — Blessed by a surprise encounter with our friend, Jim
August 30 — Anchorage to Denver — 11:25 pm — Reminded that I’m not God; and cetainly not in control
August 31 — Anchorage to Phoenix — 12:30 am [This is the one that finally had a seat for me] — Blessed by the surprise visit with our other son, Jeremy!
What was the overall conclusion of this experience? I believe every incident of life is significant, whether it’s not being able to get on flights, being snowed in, playing a lousy game of golf, watching a child fail in an athletic event, or more serious matters such as cancer, injury and loss. God is speaking to us in every situation — through trials and suffering especially — if we will only persevere in faith and continue trusting Him. We can learn from Him and from each other as we keep thanking Him and keep resting in His sufficiency and sovereignty. There is a reason for all we undergo.
To quote one of the statements I made in the previous posts: “He is always Good, Just and Present! He balances everything out in our lives, between trials and blessings, questions and answers, wrongs and rights, revelation and mystery.” He’s truly a great God and Savior!