Monday, August 13, 2007

What Goes Up Must Come Down… Somehow

I like to think I’m a fairly intelligent person, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how prayer works. I only know that, somehow, God always hears and always answers prayer. And, often, He does so in ways we hadn’t dared to hope. This post is dedicated to our praying friends around the world who constantly lift up our needs in prayer and to our Heavenly Father who loves giving good gifts to His children.

Last week I sent out a prayer request. Jack, Sophie and I were flying to Turkey to meet Matt. He had been on a 9-day assignment in the southern part of the country and was meeting us in Istanbul. Together we were looking forward to several days in one of our favorite cities with some of our favorite colleagues.

I asked for:
• safe and “uneventful” travel
• content kids within the confinement of two seats on a 4-hour flight with no movies
• a short visa line at the Istanbul airport

God answered:
... With a frank, natural discussion about spiritual things with John, our faithful taxi driver, while he navigated heavy morning traffic on the way to the airport. Somehow we managed to touch on life after death, works vs. grace, religion vs. relationship, Good vs. evil in the world and trying to control our lives vs. Trust and Obey. I had amazing opportunities to speak Truth into his life, and when we pulled up at Departures, John said, “This has been a great way to start my day.” Exhiliarating!

... With a BA employee who approached me within 60 seconds of our joining the check-in line and escorted the three of us around the corner to Premium Check-In. (If you’ve ever been part of the chaos that is Terminal 1 Departures, you may understand what a blessing this was!) Somehow, less than ten minutes later, we were headed toward Security... But the line for Security was really long, and I had to go to the bathroom. I opted to find a bathroom in the check-in area rather than waiting in that line first. When we came out of the bathroom, the Security line had somehow dwindled to a handful of people.

... With an empty arm of the terminal where Jack and Sophie could run and play freely and I could sit and watch them, worry-free, until it was time to go. Somehow the woman who checked us in told me where we needed to be, even though the gate for our flight wasn’t announced until 20 minutes before our scheduled departure. It couldn’t have been more perfect!

... With three seats (instead of two!) in the bulkhead middle section of the airplane. In spite of the flight being full, somehow we had extra room for the kids to spread out, get up and down from their seats (without bothering anyone in front of us), get extra attention from the flight attendants, etc.

... With kids’ travel packs from the airline. Among other things, Sophie’s contained a small box of four crayons. Somehow she spent the better part of an hour taking them out of the box and putting them back in again. (No kidding!)

... With an in-flight movie! Not that we watched it, but it was there and we had been told it wouldn’t be. (I could hear God saying, “See? See what I can do? Amazingly, abundantly more than you could ask or imagine!”)

... With a visa line about four people deep. (This is unheard of in the Istanbul airport!) Somehow we got our visas and were on to Passport Control in less than five minutes... And as soon as we got in that line, about 12 people from the front, airport employees came behind us to latch the ropes so that everyone else would have to snake around instead of walking straight up to the front as we had done. I turned to look back and saw an enormous crowd of people heading our way. Three or four flights must have landed all at once, but somehow we sailed right on through ahead of everyone.

So a huge THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for us on Thursday! The entire experience was blessed from start to finish. We've had a tremendous weekend here in Istanbul, full of further blessings, many more than I can describe. All four of us travel back to England tomorrow, and I can't wait to see how God will answer prayer for our trip home. Somehow!

* * * * * * *
God can do anything, you know -- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (Ephesians 3:20 The Message)

I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! (Malachi 3:10 NLT)

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16 NLT)

1 comment:

Nate said...

Thank you for that encouraging message of answered prayers! I was not only honored to help lift you and the family up, but I can be encouraged from it as well for my own walks in life! :0)