Like a few hundred thousand other travelers my plans last week went up in Icelandic volcanic ash. From early Friday morning April 16 to Sunday early afternoon I was stuck at the airport in Munich, Germany. I then took a 26-hour bus ride to get to Manchester, England, where I should have arrived 4 days earlier. I’m wondering what are the lessons I can/should take away this? After all, God is a god of redemption.
The easy answer is ‘don’t leave home’. But the reality of life is that life itself is a risk. There are no guarantees that plans will work out the way planned. The rain, and for that matter volcanic ash, falls on the good, as well as the evil. But to never risk, is to never gain. So, like most easy answers, to avoid risk is not real answer!
As I’ve thought about the ordeal for the last week, I have taken away 4 lessons from my 4 days & nights of delayed transit.
- You have to get your own insights in life
- You have to be persistent
- You have to be patient, and
- 4) At times you have to relearn how to kneel
- You have to get your own insights. We are in the so called information age, where through the internet, podcasts, books, magazines, DVDs etc all information for all things is readily available. The problem, however, is that God rarely does the same thing twice. I found that while waiting hours in lines for over 3 days what both officials and other people in the long lines would tell me would be either outdated, or simply false information.
- The information regarding planes being able to take off, land, the moving of the volcanic ash, the availability of hotel rooms was constantly fluid information. It was all changing almost hour to hour. As an example after standing in 2 different lines for an hour and a half each and being told by each airline representative that there were no hotels available I was finally told by a 3rd representative that not only were there hotels available but that I was being given one curtsey of the airline. This scenario happened two days in a row!
- God, the Father, desires each of us to be like His Son Jesus- led by the Spirit. Life is not a program and neither is the will of God for your life. You cannot read some one else’s 7 steps to the 10 keys of life and experience what they experienced. You are to be a true child of God and be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8.14). Otherwise you will suffer from false information on what hidden opportunities the Father has for you.
- You have to be persistent! I spent the better part of 3 days in row standing in different lines at the airport trying to gain opportunities. I would be told ‘no’ politely, but firmly, time after time. But then on the 3rd or 4th time of standing in line I would get an amazing ‘yes’. God is able to open doors for you where there don’t even appear to be doors. With life in the supernatural, as with life in the natural, we must be prepared to ‘ask, seek, and knock’, until God’s timing has arrived. It is never too late!
- You have to be patient. We live in a quick fix, short-term mindset in the postmodern western world. All too often we are quick to give up if what we are praying and/or working towards does not work out quickly. I can’t stand activities that necessitate waiting in lines. However, as I relaxed in the long lines in Munich and had the mindset of waiting to see what God would do I met with real reward.
- Patience – a quiet, persistent, trust in God, is part of the fruit of the Spirit. As we walk with God we must constantly remind our selves that all of the promises of God are ‘yes and amen in Christ Jesus’ because of the cross- despite the outward appearances of things. (2 Cor. 1.20)
- Relearning how to kneel: When I finally got to Lancaster, England, 4 days late, I had completely missed the conference I had come to speak at. This was very, very disappointing because it was the grand opening celebration of a church pastured by a very close friend who had just moved into their new church building. However, we ended up doing two nights of special meetings. While many healings begin to kick in hours after receiving prayer there was one instant healing that was very significant for me. A lady who had broken her knee several months before was still suffering. The outstanding problem was a lack of mobility and being unable to kneel down at all. After a few moments of prayer she was completely able to kneel and stand back up.
- Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, I find I often need God to help me relearn the humility of kneeling in prayer, worship, and thanksgiving to God. The question is not merely who are we in Christ Jesus, but who is this amazing God who has put His Holy Spirit within us? Let’s come back to a place of acknowledging our day-by-day dependence on Him for all things. After all, it’s in Him that we live and have our very being! (Acts 17.28)
- Marc A. Dupont