Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Travel Mercies

Prayer plays an important role in my life and it’s especially soul-satisfying to pray with other like-minded believers.  When someone is getting ready to travel, we ask God for “travel mercies.”  One day I asked myself, “exactly what am I praying for, anyway?”  Is it as simple as just praying for safety? 

I think I may have experienced a glimpse of God’s perspective on “travel mercies” during a recent trip.  I was flying from Michigan to Oregon to visit my son and his family. 

My flight was booked out of Green Bay, WI (better connections than our local airport offers), about a 2 hour drive from our home.  I arrived in plenty of time, boarded my plane and after a brief flight to Chicago, found the gate for my cross country flight.  So far, so good. So. Far.

As I was getting ready to board the next plane and settle in for the 4 hour flight, the gate agent announced there would be a delay due to a “mechanical problem”. A second announcement told us the problem wasn’t fixed but they were confident it would be soon, so they were going to get us on board.  Great. Right?

The boarding process went smoothly but I didn’t sense any forward movement toward take off.   More waiting.

The pilot soon apologized that the problem was not fixed and we would all have to get off the plane.  Once we all were off the aircraft, the gate agent informed us another plane was due in shortly that would get us to Portland.  I could feel my anxiety level rising.

The plane did arrive and we looked forward to being on our way. We were encouraged to board quickly because FAA regulations required us to be in the air by a certain time.  We complied and the airplane filled up.

Well, to cut to the chase (I will not keep you in suspense!), after sitting on that plane for a time, the announcement was made that we had missed our take off by two minutes!  WHAT!!!!!  TWO MINUTES?!!!  We weren’t going anywhere.

Travel mercies” – not so much!  Or so it seemed.

As soon as we were all off the plane, it got pretty chaotic.  The airline issued vouchers for a hotel, cabs and a couple of meals.  I kept reminding myself of God’s sovereignty, how nothing is a surprise to Him!

Travel mercies”…..in the midst of my disappointment and fatigue, I began to get a wonderful picture of God’s provisions…a glimpse of His divine nature as He cared for me. 
  • My cab driver was the best!  Kind, over-the-top helpful making multiple trips to accommodate the varied travel schedules of his passengers.
  • My room was lovely, clean and safe.
  • I had a cell phone to keep in touch with my loved ones.
  •  My suitcase was available.
  • The next morning, an airline employee (at the airport) went out of her way to help me navigate the system.   (Maybe she took pity on me when I asked her if she wanted to see a grown woman cry?!)

Yes, I made it.  “Travel mercies”….for sure.

As in life, God never promises we will travel this road without challenges and complications.  I. Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

This experience provided a glimpse of how He cares for us, through it all.  My grumbling (mostly internal) didn’t help in any way. What I most needed was an attitude of gratitude instead of an anxious heart.  

Because of my faith in Christ and His atoning work on the cross, I am assured that my life journey WILL take me to my heavenly home one day, no matter the roadblocks I may encounter.  Thank you, Jesus, for your “travel mercies”.

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