It’s crazy-good and gratifying how a ‘little’ snow has the power to stop our family’s flights even before we had the opportunity to board and take flight – not just one time, but two times in less than a 24 hour period.
Technically, our family should have been on our last leg of flights to Johannesburg, South Africa. Technically, we should be ready to return and engage with our southern African life and ministry after our six month home assignment in the States.
Yet, with eleven states declaring a snow emergency January 22-24, 2016, it is no wonder that our first set of cancelled flights and then our second set of cancelled flights are among the 8600+ flight cancellations this weekend.
Why am I labeling this situation as crazy-good and gratifying?
Honestly, I am calling this whole deal a sweet demonstration of God’s unmerited favor upon our family. As we anticipated this storm of epic ramifications, I prayed for God to determine what we most needed. I didn’t want to pray for favor for ourselves without consideration of all those who were experiencing the same flight challenges as our family or for those who live in this region for that matter.
I didn’t pray for God to stop the winter storm.
I didn’t pray for God to clear the way for us to pass before the storm hit.
I didn’t pray for God to award us with new flights.
What did I pray for?
I prayed according to Romans 12:1 from The Message: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”
I prayed for God’s will to be done with our flight plans and that we would trust Him. I wanted to embrace what He would give us – no matter what happened.
His answer was to allow our flights to be cancelled over the course of the past two days. The gift of these cancellations enables us to have more time with our families. It allows our boys to have more hugging and loving time with their grandparents. It allows John and meI to spend a bit more time with friends (whether by phone or in person – in the same time zone) and listen to their hearts and pray for them. It allows us time to receive whatever else the Lord wants to give us here before we eventually leave our home land for our adopted home land.
If you were given two extra days that you didn’t expect to have, what would you do?
For Caleb and Jake, they wanted to say good-bye to the Tigard Library. The boys wanted to celebrate their 27 visits and savor the experiences that the library gave them this year!
For Micah, he desires to attend his high school youth group one more time at our home church tomorrow night.
For John and me, we want to soak in this precious time with our parents and revel in these extra God-given moments.
Our luggage is all packed – in fact we are trying not to even touch them!
Our flights are rescheduled – again, for the third time.
We are ready to depart.
Instead, we remain in Portland for two more days in my parents’ home and thankfully, not on the floor of New York’s JFK airport while this storm and all of the clean-up that will ensue passes.
The Lord answered my prayer. He knew what our family needed most during the Northeast Blizzard. He granted us more time with our family before He needed us to return to southern Africa. How crazy-good and gratifying is that?