Sunday, April 14, 2013

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 blog), 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.

Special-Tea: Read Hebrews 11; Isaiah 55:8–9     


  1. Michele, I can relate. My husband and I experienced something similar last summer while trying to get to a family wedding in Virginia. Two flights were cancelled and we arrived in travel clothes (luggage lost) hours after the rehearsal dinner. We had to attend the wedding the following evening in the same outfits. Bags arrived just hours before we were scheduled for our return flight. It was a humbling experience. I learned that my pride preceded me so I took a breath, smiled, and carried on. Yes, as you said, God is good all the time because of who he is, not because of what he does!

  2. I can't imagine you anything but poised and confident, Karen! Thank you for sharing still another reminder of Who is in control. If only we could remember that!