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Peace in the Airport

Let me tell you about an experience I had very recently. It had been years since I traveled by plane, but last weekend, I flew nine hundred miles to Florida to help celebrate my younger sister’s birthday with other family members. We had a wonderful time. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. My return trip was late in the evening two days later and involved a layover between flights.


As we hurtled through the night sky at 28,000 feet in a narrow metal tube, all was quiet in the passenger cabin. The seats beside me were unoccupied, so I enjoyed solitude in the darkened cabin. It was the perfect opportunity to unwind from a hectic day and spend some time in prayer. God seemed especially near as the plane arrived without incident at the layover city.


The distance to my next boarding gate was far and my layover was short, so the airline provided wheelchair assistance and a young man with energy and long legs. He rushed me to the gate in time to board. That was when I discovered the next leg of the flight was overbooked, and I had been placed on standby, even though I had a confirmed reservation.


I am a woman of long, long experience. Others have described me as elderly, but I’m still having trouble seeing myself that way. Anyway, there I was, an older woman, traveling alone in a strange city at 10:30 at night. Already weary, I faced the prospect of spending countless hours in the airport, guarding my bags and waiting for the next flight home. I didn’t know if the airline would help me or when the next flight out would be, but I knew Who was in charge. I felt peace and calm as I asked my heavenly Father to take over my situation.


By contrast, there was a young woman at the adjoining gate, trying to get to another city. For some reason, she, too, had been denied entrance to her plane. She was making quite a scene, screaming curses at the gate agent, describing the airline in unprintable terms, waving her arms and stomping. I’m sorry it didn’t enter my mind to pray for her as I should have. I only stared in amazement and marveled at the difference the presence of God makes in the life of the believer. I had perfect peace because I knew my Father was in charge; she was stressed to the point of being out of control.


I hope she made it home somehow. I did. Another passenger failed to show up, so I was allowed on the plane at the last minute.


Don’t you love that promise in Philippians 4:7 that says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


It’s true! It’s true.

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