Travel Travails, Part 2

We live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

If you thought my travel troubles going to Colorado were bad (described in agonizing detail in last week’s column), that wasn’t even half of it. While the trip out took 17 hours, getting home took twice as long, thanks to another snowstorm. 

My mood soured even before I left Colorado Springs. Waiting at the gate, I squirmed in my seat, watching the morning’s blue sky disappear and the previous day’s blowing snow return. The time for boarding came, but the plane to Denver still hadn’t arrived. Due to the nearly 4-hour delay and the weather chaos heading east, my flight itinerary was adjusted. 

And I’d prayed for two months for good travel weather. I texted my husband, “What good is prayer?”

After an 8-hour wait in Denver, I finally boarded the flight to DC at 1 a.m. Three sleepless hours later, we landed at Dulles, where I waited 12 hours for my flight to Johnstown, and where I acquired a new skill—snoozing in an airport. 

The morning stretched into afternoon, and the snow changed to sleet, then rain. I nervously watched the flight information board, expecting this final flight to be delayed like all the others on this trip. But—hooray!—we took off only 45 minutes after we were supposed to. One stop in Altoona, then on to Johnstown. Almost home! However, the light snow in Altoona wasn’t light in Johnstown. The last leg of my troubled trip was cancelled. 

But my travails weren’t over. My luggage was missing, and the one of the two taxis summoned to ferry us to Johnstown—the one I was in—almost broke down before we even left Altoona. The driver, however, pushed on, even though the oil pressure gauge and check engine lights warned of impending trouble. Lord, please don’t let the engine blow up. I wasn’t mad at God any longer. I just wanted to get home.

The closer we got to Johnstown, the more the weather deteriorated. Ice pellets rapped against the windows, road cinders hit the doors like a million bullets, and the tires struggled to grip the icy ramp off the four-lane to the airport. Still the driver sped on. Lord, just get us to the airport in one piece.

Within sight of the airport, the taxi in front of us spun out into the deep snow along the bank. Our taxi made it to the airport without incident, and my son came to fetch me, 24 hours later than planned. After a good night’s sleep, I drove home. My luggage arrived that evening.

After all that prayer . . . 

Did my travel travails mean God didn’t answer? That He didn’t care? That He really isn’t in control? 

What it comes down to is simply faith. And mine faltered. Big time. And that pricked my pride. I’d thought of myself as a person with a rock-solid faith, but when a time of testing came—and an insignificant time of testing at that—I huffed and puffed and acted like a spoiled child not getting her own way. 

In her Bible study Living Beyond Yourself, Beth Moore describes two kinds of faith: a roller coaster faith based on what God does, and a rock-solid faith based on what God is

I know what kind I need. What about you?  

When life goes awry, my prayers go unanswered, and Heaven is silent, remind me, Lord, that my faith shouldn’t be in what You do, but in what You are—an unchanging, sovereign God whose grace and love are exceedingly abundantly above all that I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Amen.

Read and reflect on Hebrews 11; Isaiah 55:8–9.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God, © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Wrong Part

Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him. — Matthew 6:8 NIV 

My husband came home one Friday evening with a disgusted look on his face. 

“My truck is not to be moved,” he announced.

I looked out the door and noted the hood of his green pickup ajar. I was almost afraid to ask why. 

A section of the fuel line was leaking, and until he replaced it, the truck couldn’t be used. So he went to the auto parts store in town. Just as our luck would have it, the part had to be ordered from the manufacturer, and we’d have to contact a local dealer in another town forty-five minutes away to order it for us.

“The part will be in on Wednesday,” he announced Saturday morning after a couple of phone calls. “Can you pick it up for me?”

Wednesday I called to make sure the part was in. It wasn’t. Neither was it in on Thursday. Or Friday. Monday I called the dealer for the fourth time. 

“We ordered it, Ma’am,” he said. “We just didn’t get it yet. We don’t know where it is. The manufacturer said they shipped it. I’m going to put in another order and have them ship it so I have it tomorrow.”

“Why don’t we just forget it?” I said when I called the next day and it still wasn’t in. “I could have been to Detroit and back and gotten it myself.” 

“Would you wait one more day?” he asked. He sounded as frustrated as I felt. “I’m going to call the manufacturer and find out where it is.” 

“Okay,” I agreed, but not without a sigh.

The next day, even though the part we needed was put on the delivery truck at four o’clock that morning, it still wasn’t in. So what do we do now? It had been ten days since we ordered the part, and it was lost somewhere between Detroit and western Pennsylvania. If we ordered it from another dealer, we’d probably have to wait another week before it came in there. And what if the part came in the first place the day after we ordered it from someone else? 

Finally, on Thursday, seven days after it was to be in, the elusive order arrived. One look at my husband’s face when he saw it, though, and I knew: After all that, it was the wrong part.

I got to thinking, though: We’re such an “instant-minded” society. Aren’t we like that with God, too? 

We put in our orders with our heavenly Father, thinking that prayer is like putting our money in a vending machine, pushing a button, and having our answer drop down out of heaven like a candy bar. But more often than not, we have to wait, and waiting is the hardest part. Sometimes we wait so long, we think God is ignoring us or punishing us. 

But when the answer does come, it’s always exactly what we need and right on time. And what’s even better—He never sends the wrong part.

Father, I am so impatient. Help me to be persistent and patient in prayer. Amen. 

Read and meditate on Matthew 7:7–11

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.