the Hope of Survivors

God Is In All The Details—Steve Nelson

(From the October 2007 edition of HopeSpeak)

“The flight has been delayed.” As the announcement came over the loud speaker, Samantha and I looked at each other and we both gave a deep sigh. We were already tired and now our 12-hour flight was going to be delayed another 3 hours.

The airline was very courteous, giving each passenger a meal voucher, so off we went to find a vegetarian dinner in a land of meat and potatoes. After a little searching, we found a restaurant and enjoyed our dinner, courtesy of the airline.

If there is one thing I like less than waiting in airports, it’s airplanes with mechanical trouble. The next announcement told us of just that very thing. “We are sorry to announce that the plane is experiencing mechanical difficulty with the hydraulic system, but a part needed to fix the problem it is on its way.” As I sat there, my mind pictured what parts of the plane would possibly use hydraulics. The brakes, wing flaps and just about everything necessary to keep this plane in the air or to land it safely.

There was a time I would have started to worry, but God has been guiding me along a journey, which has led me to trust in Him, even when the outcome seems dark or questionable, at best. This time I had perfect peace. There is a peace only the Holy Spirit can give. It’s a peace that comes through an abiding, trusting relationship with Jesus. There is a verse I often remember when going through a difficult time or trying circumstances. It says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

As we waited for the next update, Samantha and I replied to emails and tried to finish up some loose ends before our rescheduled flight was to leave. Soon another announcement was made. “The flight has been canceled. All passengers must make their way back to the baggage terminal check-in for flight reassignment.”

Immediately, there was a mad scurry as hundreds of passengers dashed, rushed and scrambled their way back out of the terminal. Each person with the same all-consuming thought, I need to be first in line to avoid any further delay.

There was a time when I, too, would have hurried along with the crowd, frustrated and impatient at this inconvenience. But now, by God’s grace and comforted by His perfect peace, we waited and watched as the last passenger made their exit out of the terminal. Finishing our emails and closing the computer, we then made our way down the long hallway, not looking forward to the long lines and even longer wait.

As we passed near the security exit, we asked an agent, who was presumably directing the recent flow of traffic, which way it was to the baggage terminal for our airline. He directed us to turn left just past the security area and there we would find the agent and baggage check-in counter. As we turned to the left we noticed only a small line and just one person ahead of us waiting to speak to the agent. As I looked across the terminal, I saw a long line of passengers standing in front of another counter with the same airline’s logo above it and I wondered why we were in this line and not the other.

The agent asked the woman in front of us how she could help her and the woman told the agent she was on the flight that had just been canceled, to which the agent replied, “you will need to go across the terminal and get in the other line.” We watched the woman leave and expected the same response. “How can I help you?” the agent asked. “We were on a flight to Norway and the flight was canceled,” I said. She looked at us and then said, “You can stay here and the agent will help you schedule another flight.”

I almost didn’t believe what we had heard. But in a few minutes we were at the counter and, after much diligent effort, our agent was able to reschedule us on another flight that would get us to our destination in time. Not only that, but the airline provided us with hotel accommodations for that evening and food vouchers for the next day.

Shortly after this, we picked up our luggage and were on our way to the hotel. As we rode in the shuttle, another passenger who was on the same flight, told us that he regularly stays in this city on business and had previously stayed at all of the hotels in the area, which were part of this chain. He then went on to say the hotel where the airline booked us was the nicest of them all.

After a much needed nights’ rest, we made our flight the next day and landed at our final destination. We arrived with just enough time to take the subway to our meeting location, shower, pray and walk into the room as the last few worship songs were being sung before our part of the service  began. 

It has been said that, “God is seldom early, but He’s never late.” I have to say, in my experience, this is often the case. Even now, I am still amazed at how God worked everything out, even down to the finest detail. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It does not tell us we will have all we desire, but it does say that everything we need will be supplied. Next time you may be wondering if God really cares about the little details of your life, remember a canceled flight. Even when the expected outcome seems hopeless, take His hand and trust your Father’s heart. I can assure you, He’s in all the details.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18