I recently arrived at the station at 6am to catch the 6.20 train to the airport for a homeward flight. I thought I was doing well until someone told me the train was cancelled … but no problem, I could get the next train that would arrive at the airport at 8.15am. My heart sank! My latest check in time was 8.20 for the flight departure at 8.50, and I knew that even when I arrived there was a labyrinth of corridors, escalators and lifts to negotiate between the station and the check in desk! I really needed to get that flight. So I prayed, ‘Lord, please will You help me to get there in time.’
Despite my prayer I was anxious as I waited. Time dragged and a headache was developing. Eventually I turned my focus from the empty railway track back to God, and was surprised when He reminded me that I am His child, He’s my Father and showed me that He was going to make a way. I just needed to hold His hand and trust Him. The anxiety and the headache went and I felt a sense of peace.
The train was five minutes late arriving at the station and it was rush hour. Passengers piled in and out all along the way and we lost more minutes. But I still had that picture of my caring, heavenly Father getting me to the plane. So when we arrived at 8.25am I ran for it – up the escalator, along endless corridors, up and down lifts. And as I flew along with suitcase in tow, the Lord did make a way: the security guard ushered me to the front of the queue, and the people at the x-ray machines rushed my bags through and directed me to the gate I needed. Finally I arrived at 8.50am – the exact departure time for the flight. I could see the plane on the tarmac but there was no-one left at the gate … when seemingly from nowhere a stewardess appeared. Gasping for breath, I asked her if I was too late and she said, ‘No, you’re fine, I’ll take you to the plane.’ With God’s help, I made it!
As I gratefully relaxed on the flight home, the Lord showed me what a picture that morning had been of our walk with Him. He had promised to get me to the place I needed to get, and He promises to bring us to the place of healing. But we have to rise above what the circumstances and our own feelings might tell us, and believe in what He says. It was such a temptation to give up any hope of getting that flight, and it can be a big temptation to give up hope of real healing, but Jesus Himself tells us to believe (John 6:28-29). And in the struggle to believe we can ask Him to help us in our unbelief (Mark 9:24).
Then we have to allow God to do the work of healing His way, which very often isn’t the way that we think He should do it! If God was going to get me on that flight, the logical thing to my mind would have been to speed up the train or delay the flight … but we can’t put conditions on God. His ways are not ours.
If we’re honest we would just like God to do it for us! If He had held up the flight it would have been so much easier for me. I could have taken my time getting to the plane – even wandered round the shops on the way! But He doesn’t give us the easy option. He calls us to engage in what He’s doing in our lives. The truth, of course, is that He has already done it all for us in sending Jesus to pay the ultimate price for our forgiveness and healing. But in the application of all that He won for us on the cross we have to play our part – not because we have a demanding God, but because we have a loving God. His ways are more than just different to ours: they are higher than ours. He isn’t just interested in healing us, but in bringing us into the fulfilment of the very purpose for which He made us: that precious relationship with Him.
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