On the long ride home as my sister maneuvered through heavy Memphis traffic, I was happy to be in the back seat and simply think about everything that had transpired during our mission.
Our one day trip to pick up our Ghana sister, Constance, had resulted in a 2-day wait at the airport due to mechanical and weather delays. After HOURS of waiting in the airport on the first day, her flight was grounded in Chicago. We found a nice hotel and spent the night – not a bad thing – we did some shopppppping the next morning. We drove to the airport and AGAIN – the flight was postponed and arrival time was changed every few minutes due to severe weather. We waited, had lunch, waited, watched people and waited. During the long wait, I observed people. You can learn a lot about the human psyche as each postponement or delay in flights came up on the board.
I saw the young man as he approached the waiting area and immediately recognized him as an observant Hasidic Jewish man. I would guess him to be maybe 30 years old at the most. He kept to himself and used his phone often and checked the flight board like the rest of us. He pulled his luggage and walked near us and my sister excitedly said, “Look, a Jew! We’re supposed to bless Jews.” In my effort to calm her down, I said quietly, “I know, I saw him earlier.” My sister is much friendlier than I and more approachable. Long story short, she struck up a chat with him and we learned he was waiting for his flight to New York. My sister can get information out of a clam – not because she is nosey – she isn’t – she just cares about EVERYBODY and most people with problems spill their guts to her! We learned about his beautiful wife and three children and he was anxious to get home to them.
Eventually, all flights were canceled. There we were – day two in the same clothes – snowing like crazy, no hotel reservations, and an airport full of people trying to book rooms at the closest inn. There were no rooms at the inns. My sister turned to the young man and said we would take him to a hotel and not to take a taxi. He was quite taken aback and insisted he would not wish to inconvenience us. My sister insisted, he relented and climbed into the big black truck with two old Gentile Christian sisters. I imagine he was praying the entire trip to the hotel a few miles away in Germantown – my sister gave guided tour information as we passed by three ENORMOUS white, brightly-lit crosses at one of the local churches. I learned some new things as we discussed Netanyahu and current events. Very intelligent young man.
We rode back to the airport next morning said our goodbyes. My sister took a photo of our new friend and I & they exchanged names and addresses. Up to that point, we didn’t know each other’s names! But that’s irrelevant.
Sister Constance survived her ordeal, arrived in Memphis and we got back into the big, black truck and headed home. After it was all over, it was as if God was telling me, “I wanted to show you something! I am sovereign and I will use My obedient servants no matter where they are.” The young man from Brooklyn was on two sisters unknown agenda for that day and we made a new friend. We just didn’t know there was a mission added to our mission. Possibly, we were on his mission. I do not think this story is over & know this was not just a “chance meeting”. In Ghana, when you visit someone, upon arriving at the home, the tradition is for the host to ask, “What is your mission?” The primary mission, or what we thought was our primary mission, was to pick up our sister, plan a nice lunch and drive home.
I like God’s plan better.
While on an overseas flight to Israel, I found myself separated from the rest of our group due to an error in booking. While everyone else was enjoying the flight sitting together I was stuck near the front of the plane in the last seat of a row of 6, center aisle. Behind the seats was a room that the flight attendant used a key to go into.
Don’t mind telling you I was feeling sorry for myself as I heard the laughter of my group further back in the plane. While I was having my little pity party, a very tall, distinguished looking older gentleman came and sat at the other end of the row. I thought this is just great….now I’ll have to leave my shoes on and sit up straight all the way over the ocean! I could tell he wasn’t too pleased with the arrangement either. I wondered why the rest of the seats weren’t filled in the section & the rest of the plane was full.
Settling in with my book, The Late Great Planet Earth, which I had read once already, I noticed the man looking at me – he seemed to be puzzled. Finally, he asked me if was in the right seat. I said yes. He asked me to look at my boarding pass, so I did & it confirmed I was in the right seat. He introduced himself and asked me where I was going. I told him and he explained that he was on his way to Moscow. This interested me & I asked him if he was on business or had relatives there. He told me he was an envoy to Russia & traveled this flight weekly. He told me that “This whole row of seats is expressly reserved for me – standing reservation by the government. In fact, I keep a change of clothes here in the room behind us at all times. That’s why I don’t understand how you were given that seat because I usually am able to lie down since the row is always empty.”
I apologized & said I didn’t understand why they separated me from my group, who were obviously having a very good time in the back! So, we came to a friendly agreement to make the best of the situation. He asked me what I was reading & I explained to him it was a book about prophecy & the end times. He listened closely as I told him the events that were to unfold – which probably included Russia. I was able to witness to him as he asked pointed questions. We had a very intelligent conversation & we both agreed I could keep the seat. I never saw the gentleman again, but he has the book.
Jesus – I love Him & sometimes His travel arrangements may seem strange, but I don’t question, I just go.
I’m sure everywhere you turn lately you are seeing & hearing the words “resolutions”, “goals”, “plans”, and other similar phrases.
Like me, you may have issues with resolutions but not goals or plans. Maybe you do like resolutions and they actually work for you. Perhaps you are also like me and really don’t find them any different, but just try to make yourself feel better by calling them goals and plans instead of resolutions. 😉 (My opinion is a checklist by any other name is still a checklist, no matter what label you put on it. )
There is nothing wrong with grabbing the opportunity by the tail and starting off fresh to break habits, create new routines, and change things for the better. The key is to stick with it, fight for it, and to just flat-out make it happen. There’s also nothing wrong with just living spontaneously, as long as it is in the Will of God. (Does that make sense? Because it makes sense to me…) For myself, I need to make some changes. I’m out of shape, out of routine, and tired of falling behind. I’ll share more about this next week, but I’m starving for some organization and need a plan. Desperately.
Over the month of January, a few of us here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven will be sharing with you some things that God has laid on our hearts for 2014. Some of these posts will be our personal goals, others a vision we have for our communities, the church, and families. We also hope to help you start on the right foot by suggesting some scriptures, tips, products, and services that can help you along the way.
2014 is full of so much promise and hope. Before we know it, we’ll be asking where it went. So let’s do our best to make it count for God. James 4:14 tells us that life ” is even a vapor”, and that we are arrogant should we assume that we are guaranteed tomorrow… So don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do for God today. (Preaching to myself here, people. Not gonna lie. But I’ll get into that more in the coming weeks.) With or without that list for the year in hand, the only way to be is in the Will of the Lord. (Still preaching to myself…)
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We are also going to be changing a few things here on our blog. Not major massive changes, but some things will be going and other things coming. Let us know what you’d like to see more of, less of, and what you just really don’t want to hear about anymore. 😉
Now, what about you? Do you think all of the oohs and aahs that goes with January 1st are worth it, or a waste of time? Have you sat down with a checklist, planner, pen, and coffee, or does the idea of just flying through the year by the seat of your pants excite you? We’d love to hear about it, especially since we’re all split down the middle. 😉
As a child, my friends (that are all more like family) and I would often play house. Crystal would have either 1 or 2 kids. Kristeena would be the babysitter. Kristianna would be the family pet… usually a dog. (I’m happy to report now that she is NOT a dog, but a happy wife and mother of a beautiful baby girl…) Me? I was the crazy one who wanted to pretend I had 6-10 kids. Most often, Crystal would say “That’s crazy. No more than 6. We can’t keep up with all the pretend names.” And boy, would I come up with those names. Every time there was a “Rebecca-Ann Marie” (And if you know me well enough, you know my first daughter had a very similar name.) and I LOVED playing the part.
Nick, Kyndra, & Kara always played along. Nick would be “Uncle Michael” and his wife would always be “Aunt Michele”. Kyndra would usually be one of Crystal’s kids, but sometimes mine… and Kara was mine every time. Being that Kara was half my age at the time and quite a bit smaller than I, I loved that I could carry her around on my hip or to cradle her in my arms. She was always 5 months old and had a different name every game session. Don’t ask me why 5 months and not 6 or 4. It’s just how it was.
This was my plan. From a young girl. I was to be a Mommy of a VERY large group of children. And I am… but not as many as I thought I would have…
I’m facing a difficult decision due to physical problems; It involves my fertility.
I always said that when God said it was time to stop having children, he would tell me loud and clear. That he has. I believe soon I may be undergoing a hysterectomy or treatment that will prevent me from having more children.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I have a large family and I’ve been blessed. It’s just not what I had planned.
Saturday night, dealing with a hot flash, I stepped outside. Looking at the stars, I flat out asked God, “What is your plan? I’m open to what you have, it’s just this is what I thought you called me to do? I’m only 30. I didn’t expect this so soon.” In my heart I felt him say, instantly, “It is what I called you to do, but there is something else waiting in the wings. Just wait and see. It will take time. Hold on.”
So here I am: At peace, finally. At the end of my life I may not have 6-10 children, and that’s okay. This wasn’t an easy thing to let go of, as I’m a “planner”. But, the 5 I have are the best things that EVER happened to me. God knows what He’s doing, all the time. I’ll trust in Him.
Are you facing a situation in which you are not sure what God is up to? Has the decision been taken out of your hands? Let me tell you, friend, give it all to Him. He really does know what He’s doing. If you need prayer, let us know either here or on our Prayer Wall. We’ll pray with you.
To fully understand the reason why Angie picked this song, please visit Random Epiphanies of An Imperfectionist and click on Sunday, April 22nd’s post. Thank you.
We’ve all been there. Had a need, want, or wish that we prayed for fervently. Begging God to just let this one thing go our way. Only to find that God didn’t agree, and just flat out said “NO!”
Naturally, sometimes as humans we become upset. We don’t understand WHY God would ever not grant us the wishes of our heart. “Doesn’t God want me to be happy?” we ask, assuming that God couldn’t possibly know our side of it.
As difficult as it can be, the key to remember is that God is all knowing. He sees the big picture, not just the here and now like we see it. Of course he wants the best for us! But just as our children think cookies make a good meal, we know better. He doesn’t want us to settle for less.
When I was young, and I mean YOUNG, there was something I prayed for. I could NOT understand why God was not giving me what I wanted. Surely He knew the dream I had from the time I was a tot, why wouldn’t He just give it to me? I’ll tell you why: because it was not His will. He had something so much better in store for me. I didn’t understand it at the time, but boy do I now! And let me just say Thank You LORD for not giving in to my stupidity! 😉
It does not always go this way. Sometimes the reason our prayers go unanswered is not clear. It is not for us to know while we are here on earth, but as the old song says “We’ll understand it better by and by…” In the mean time, thank our Heavenly Father for loving us enough to say “no” instead of spoiling us. For were it not for the “nos”, we wouldn’t be thankful when He says, “YES!”