I read this and just had to share it with you!
I found myself on January 1st heading to Kansas City, MO. My step mom had been moved to a care center a month earlier and now it was time to begin “closing down” the family home in Blue Springs.
In haste, I made my reservation the night before. (Using some of my “miles” on United to buy my ticket) I arrived at the airport before 6 am for a 7:35 flight. As I checked in the agent told me that United had not “issued” my ticket. (I had a confirmation number and everything) After being on the phone at the ticket counter with, “reservations” for over 45 minutes we finally figured out the problem and they issued the ticket, but not in time for me to make my flight.
They rebooked me on a later flight, now at 9:30, delayed but grateful that I was getting out of Portland and on my way. As I was waiting, trying to get some rest, the Cru Conference’s speaker’s words, two nights before, kept coming to mind. “When in prison keep singing hymns.” It was a principle out of Acts 16:25.
So I felt prompted to sing hymns and rejoice in the Lord while I wait. At the gate I was going to check in for my flight, only to find out that my new flight was delayed and I was going to miss my connections to KCMO. So I went back out of security, back to the ticket counter where I began two hours earlier to find that United had no more flights that day to KC.
Once again they rebooked me, this time on a US Air flight that was going to leave at 11:30. (I really felt I was in “prison!” I cannot get out of the Portland! But I kept singing…) The US Air agent saw that I was in a middle seat and asked if I would like a window. I responded by saying, “That would be great.” So she did.
Five and a half hours after arriving at PDX, I walked on to my flight getting “freed” from Portland and on my way. My seat was the last seat in the last role on the plane. A young couple was seated in the role next to me. (I noticed this couple at the gate before we were getting on, I guessed they were military and he was)
Evan and Lindsay, high school sweet hearts from a small town in Oregon, only been married for one year and he was serving as and enlisted man in the Marines. We began to talk, getting to know each other and then I asked a simple question, “So, where are you on your spiritual journey?”
Both had a religious back ground but neither understood the gospel. They really thought “they” had to work at it for God to accept them, forgive them, and give them eternal life. They were both very engaged and wanted to know how they could know God and have eternal life. I suggested that we go through a little booklet called “How to know God personally.”
As we talked through each point, explaining each Biblical truth, you could see the Spirit of the living God drawing them to Himself. Somewhere over Arizona at 40,000 feet, both Evan and Lindsay placed their trust in Jesus as their Savior and Lord and were RESCUED. (All that REBOOKING, all that WAITING, in order for God to “place” me next to Evan and Lindsay)
I’m in awe of God, His mercy, His grace and power to save! I am also so grateful that I heard and responded to His voice and kept singing!
Ralph Cooley is on staff with Cru Faculty Commons in Idaho.