Did you ever stop to think about the way God works in your life?  And have you ever considered the fact that sometimes a delay or detour in life is simply God’s way of keeping you from harm?  Last month, my dad and I arrived at La Guardia airport over two hours prior to our departure time.  As I scanned our boarding pass at the check-in kiosk, I received a message stating that we needed to see a Delta agent in order to check in.  We were perplexed when the agent printed out tags for our luggage to be flown to Washington, DC.  Along with connections in Washington and Atlanta, they quickly informed us that we were not to fly out until the following day.  Our direct flight to Jacksonville had been cancelled along with countless other departures and arrivals due to gridlock and inclement weather.  We were not going home tonight.  We were stranded in New York.

Because of the cancellations, all hotel rooms in the vicinity of the airport were booked solid.  We found a metal bench in the Baggage Claim area.  We had gone from taking a stroll in Central Park earlier in the day and having lunch at Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse that afternoon to sitting on a metal bench with our luggage in front of us like we were homeless.  Funny how things change, isn’t it?  Soon the jackhammers began to sing.  Every time sleep seemed possible, we were reminded that we were sitting in an airport near a construction zone.  Still, we were grateful to have a bench, as many stranded passengers were not so fortunate, having to endure a long, sleepless night on the floor.

The next morning, we boarded the plane, excited to finally be heading home.  As soon as we got settled in, the pilot came on the intercom to inform us that the rear luggage door was not closing properly.  The next announcement delivered news that the hinge pin was broken and we would have to deplane.  The substitute plane was en route from North Carolina and would depart a couple of hours later.  But even with the seemingly endless delays, we knew that God had a perfect plan.  I prayed a silent prayer, thanking Him that the pin broke at the gate and not in the air.  Long before we even booked this flight, He knew which plane would be safe.  As the song written by Joyce and Colbert Croft aptly says, the Lord is always looking out for us.

From the moment our vacation began, God had His hand on us.  Our flight from Jacksonville to Atlanta was delayed by three hours, but the connecting flight from Atlanta to Boston was delayed four hours.  On the Freedom Trail in Boston, we heard a single shot fired near our location and an ambulance arrived soon thereafter.  From our hotel room in New York, we heard several shots fired on more than one occasion.  But through every delay and every danger lurking around the corner, God kept us safe from all harm.  Every part of our journey revealed God’s love for us, from the moments when we prayed for safety to the moments we were awestruck by the beauty of God’s Creation that surrounded us.

From the beauty of Walden Pond near Waltham, Massachusetts to the pastoral scenes of Prince Edward Island, Canada, it was evident that God’s paintbrush had majestically graced these picturesque landscapes.  I was captivated by the delightful views as we walked across the bridge at the top of Montmorency Falls in Quebec, Canada.  Every aspect of our trip was proof that God was piloting our ship, ensuring that we enjoyed the journey just as much as the destinations themselves.  Of course, one destination proved to be extra special.  We had the opportunity to return to the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York.  The moment you enter the doors of this Tabernacle, something special takes place.  Goosebumps covered my arms as I immediately felt the Spirit of God surround me in a warm embrace.  What a sweet reminder of God’s love for me, as well as a chance to reflect on this New England and Canada adventure that my dad and I were blessed to enjoy together.

What about you?  Do delays seem to squelch your spirits, causing you to become impatient and angry?  Even amid the detours of life, remember that one thing never changes.  That is the love that Jesus Christ has for you and me.  No matter who you are, He loves you.  No matter where you are, He loves you.  As my dad and I stood overlooking Jordan Pond, I was reminded how God can take a broken life and transform it into a beautiful one.  For you see, the surrounding landscape does not share the same serenity of Jordan Pond.  Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, while beautiful to photograph, are not hospitable terrains, full of jagged rocks and boulders.  Just like God took time to create a gorgeous, peaceful pond in the midst of this rugged landscape, He will take the time to soften your heart and bring peace to your troubled soul.  So the next time you experience a delay, just remember that God knows more than you do.  That detour may just be the Lord looking out for you!

In Christ's Love,