Don’t let anyone ever tell you that God doesn’t still work miracles…
For so many that have prayed–thank you! For others who are just hearing of our plight, here is our story. God’s story. He is at work. He is alive and working in ways we don’t always recognize, but this one has just unfolded right in front of our eyes…
Weeks ago we scheduled a flight for Johannesburg, South Africa to go be with our daughter (missionary to Madagascar), who was about to deliver her third baby. The last several months were crazy busy in preparation for the Southern Baptist Convention that was held here in St Louis, MO, which ended on a Wednesday. Packing on Friday for our Sunday afternoon flight, we discovered that our passports were to expire on
the.very.day we were supposed to leave!
I was devastated. Immediately I cried out to God for help, and after my panic, I went online and located the closest Passport agency that could give us an appointment ASAP. Chicago (5 hours away) was booked up until the following Thursday, and the next closest location was Hot Springs, Arkansas (6 hours away).
On the day we were supposed to be leaving, my husband preached three services and we loaded up the car and drove to Hot Springs, Arkansas for our 10:30 a.m. Monday morning appointment. We got there early, told them our story, and waited. They were understanding of our situation–but made no promises–only to help as best they could, and to our great relief, had our new passports in hand before 11:30 a.m.!!
But that’s not the end of the story. Leaving the passport agency, we drove straight for the airport. I tried to rebook our flights on my phone, but it wouldn’t let us apply the credit from our cancelled flight, I called Delta, and was told that it was going to cost us $3800 more! That was not even in the realm of possibilities…
We pulled off the highway to find a McDonald’s to get on wi-fi. We knew the process might just work if we could get on the laptop to book it. After two failed attempts, we realized our only option remaining was to go on to the airport. We plowed ahead, and drove straight to the airport to talk to Delta in person. Bags in hand (and always packed to the limit when visiting a missionary!), we still believed that God might just get us to that flight leaving Atlanta at 8:00 p.m.
I could not accept that we would not be able to go without paying an exorbitant amount of money…
I showed him the price I had acquired by making a new reservation on my phone for the next day–proving that if I bought a ticket myself on my app, the total price would be the same as our original ticket. He agreed that it didn’t make sense, and conferred with the agent, who agreed to book us on the flight leaving Tuesday-if we were willing to pay a $97. per person price difference! (When we cancelled our flight for Sunday we were told we would have to pay a $300.00 per person cancellation fee!)
Now booked on the same flight only one day later, we were even given a voucher for a free night at the hotel here at the airport!
(And the icing on the cake? Long term parking at the Little Rock airport was going to be $10/day –which would have been another $100, BUT the free hotel they gave us also allows us to leave our car at the hotel while we’re gone –and take a hotel shuttle for only $20!).
You might want to think that this is all “just coincidence”,
But I most certainly do not.
You might say, “Well, why did it have to happen in the first place?” Why didn’t God just remind us to check those passports months ago?
——–I think He wanted to stop us in our tracks and remind us in all of our busy-ness, our planning, our frailty, that
HE IS IN CONTROL
And I have to say, I don’t think it was a lesson just for us.
Do you need a fresh reminder that God is bigger than you think?
Maybe He just wanted us to be a vessel– to share a story that would remind you that He knows. He hears. And He provides. We could take this experience and just focus on what didn’t happen. OR we can focus on what did happen, and see His hand guiding us all along the way. I won’t pretend that this has been easy. Keeping my mind on the big picture –baby arrived healthy!–has only been possible as I tried to take one step at a time, trusting Him and knowing that He has already ordained my days.
And so, I’m grateful.
There will be more to come in this adventure, I’m sure, but the rest will be written in South Africa!