When you’re vulnerable, you trust God more. When you have no one else to lean on, you press into God and you pray like crazy. Right now, my wife is on the clear opposite side of the world and I haven’t heard from her. That gets me feeling vulnerable and it makes me look to the only one with control over the situation. It makes me pray biblical verses over her like Psalm 91:11-12, which reads:
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
And like we just read in Philippians 4:6-7, I shouldn’t “be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Last night Kassi and I made it to the airport in San Francisco with perfect timing; everything was going according to plan. Until I rolled up to the ticketing counter to check on the stand by list. Side note: I’ve been on the stand by list all this year riding as an “enlisted passrider” with United Airlines. My best friend is a flight attendant for them so I was able to receive VERY cheap flights this year by being enrolled. The catch is that I have to fly on the standby list – which means that you are never guaranteed a seat until the last person boards the plane. Then they will give away the remaining seats to the stand by passengers starting with the most senior employees (or relative to the most senior employee).
Kassi had a purchased seat so she was able to board with no problem. Me on the other hand, I had to wait until the last minute to see if I even had a seat. It was looking very optimistic in my opinion, since I’ve flown nearly a hundred times on the standby list, so I was feeling confident as I walked up to the gate. But what I didn’t foresee were the “weight restrictions” on this flight. This means that they have “cargo” in the bottom of the plane in lieu of additional passengers. This significantly decreases the chances of getting on the plane for all of the stand by passengers because the airline will not open up those available seats in order to get on the flight.
I’ve learned a lot about these weight restrictions in the last 24 hours. Before this, I had no idea that these even existed. I had heard about it before, but I never put the two and two together.
As I had to say good bye to my wife without knowing if I was going to get on the flight or not, I started a fury of prayers. And the still small voice (Holy Spirit) said to me, “I’m testing your faith.” So I even told Kassi that God was testing our faith. So, I rallied my family to start praying and I began believe that God would get me on that flight, no matter how depressed all of the other standby passengers were feeling, I still had to keep the faith. But you know what? I didn’t get on. And that left me feeling pretty confused, asking God this morning what I did wrong.
I was led to the book of James. I have no idea what led me there, I just opened up the bible and it fell right on the book of James. I just finished the book of Philippians and I’m looking for a new book to study and write about.
James 1:2-4 says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Talk about a powerful verse. Let’s dissect it.
First of all, testing your faith is not a very fun exercise to go through with God. We are naturally anxious humans, at least most of us are. So when God tells us one thing, we often start to doubt his words after not too long. Just like Eve in the garden of eden. The devil used this doubt to his advantage, and he will continue to use this doubt with every word we receive from God.
God says that we should consider it pure joy to go through trials and have our faith be tested. But why? Because it brings perseverance. God wants to make us stronger. But most of us don’t like the process of getting stronger because it makes us sore and uncomfortable. But God wants to continually build us up so that we can make more of an impact on the world; the stronger we are, the more that God can use us.
Perseverance means: “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. DELAY! HA!! God has a funny sense of humor. God wants me to trust in him more. He’s building me up. And maybe that’s what this entire trip is about. God wants to build me up over the next 8 months so that I can be used in a more powerful way.
Although it isn’t very comfortable right now, I know you’re growing me into the man you have planned me to be. I’m going to lean into you more instead of letting my mind drift off into an abyss of worry and anxiety. I know you have my wife in the palms of your hand and that you have commanded your angels concerning her. Please wrap her in your peace that transcends all understanding, for I know you care for her.
And give me supernatural favor to get on this next flight to Sydney in the name of Jesus!