Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Journey With Jesus

It's 9 days before Christmas (this was written yesterday, obviously) and we find ourselves hanging out in the Detroit on delay...major delay.  Had a fabulous trip to Oregon and LOVED being with our adult children and their two adorable boys (Henry turns 5 in March and Gus is 7 1/2 months).  It was giggles and drools, snuggling and story reading and I loved every last minute!

But, departure time comes way too fast and yesterday morning, very early we were headed for the airport for our return trip back to Michigan.  Because we live in a small town in the Upper Peninsula, air travel connections leave something to be desired and we usually need three airplanes each way, to get us to and from our west coast destination.  Oh well, I pretty much would walk the whole way....over hot coals be with that precious family.

On that return trip the first two flights were great.  In Detroit, however, when we checked the airport monitors we saw that terrible word after our final leg, CANCELED!  Well, the airline people were wonderful but we still had to spend the night at a hotel, without my luggage (Charlie very wisely travels with carryon only);  my bag was heading to our home destination at some point and we didn't want to chase it down.  No deodorant, no get the picture.  We tried standby today (at the gate we met folks who had been waiting 3 days to leave!) but for us, this flight was a "no go". We are scheduled for the last flight tonight.

This is one of those experiences that provides great opportunity:  am I going to view this delay as a reason to complain and (mentally) ring my hands?  Or am I going to look for God in the midst of it all? Could there be hidden blessings within this delay?

At this time of year I can't help but compare my journey with the one Mary took on her way to Bethlehem as she sat on the back of that donkey, for miles, in her extremely pregnant state,  My journey is my choice, in a relatively comfortable airplane seat, at least compared to the back of a donkey.  Furthermore, this grandmother hasn't been pregnant for many years!

But I think what strikes me is God's amazing provisions in the midst of all of our "inconveniences" (and let's face it, this is nothing more than an inconvenience).  HE has provided the financial resources to spend the night in a clean, safe hotel room along with a nice meal.  We had hot showers and a hair dryer and even a toothbrush (for me; remember Charlie had his things with him) and toothpaste provided by the nice hotel people. We were able to use our cell phones to be in touch with loved ones.  The airline employees have been nothing but kind.  I woke up this morning with a heart filled with gratitude. And you know what?  If we have to stay here again tonight, I will still praise the God Who provides.

We are all on a journey that leads us somewhere; with Jesus it leads us home. 

Jesus is waiting there to welcome us with His arms wide open.  As we celebrate His birth, let us remember that He is the BEST gift. It is because of Him that we are assured this earthly journey will one day take us to our true, forever home to dwell in safety and joy.  I think I can even hear the sounds of angel wings (do you hear that magical "whooshing" sound?); or perhaps, if we listen carefully, we can hear the heavenly choir tuning up.

John 3:16 tells us, "God SO loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have life everlasting".  In John 14:6 Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  NO one comes to the Father except through Me".  Friends, that is great news!
Jesus is the way! When we choose to love HIM, we are assured we are going the way that will take us home!  Let's journey together that we might "dwell in the house of the Lord forever".

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