My husband was supposed to arrive at 3:13pm that day after a 12-day trip. It was a Friday afternoon and storms began rolling in, delaying his flight little more than an hour. I gathered my things and began to make my way through the torrential downpour and rush-hour traffic, exhilarated to see my hubby after days of waiting.
Waiting in the terminal for him to land, he texted me. They’d been circling above my head, and the storm, for an hour. The storms were too thick, too dangerous – the only option was to reroute to Austin, a 40-minute flight away. Not knowing when I would need to come back, I headed home – back into the fray of traffic and thick, sideways rain.
Steve’s flight landed in Austin, along with many other diverted planes. He and his fellow passengers sat on the tarmac for three hours. At home, the kids were disappointed I hadn’t brought their Daddy with me. Steve and I sent messages back and forth, trying to prepare a back-up plan. Do I drive to Austin to pick him up? Do I book him a hotel before rooms run out? Do I book a rental car for him to make his way home?
All plans ceased when he replied, “They’re arranging for buses. We’ll be at the airport around 2am.”
A very long day for him. A few, brief hours to nap for me.
It seemed providential that my father-in-law was in town, staying at our house that night. I could leave in the middle of the night to pick up Steve without dragging sleeping children to the van.
On Steve’s end, after five hours in the air, three hours on the tarmac, at the end of a working day, he and the other passengers unloaded and dispersed onto four coach buses, headed for the metroplex, another three hours away. When the driver became sleepy and swerving just 45 minutes out of DFW, Steve took the initiative to sit with him and talk through the rest of the trip. Steve wondered if he’d been placed there for such a time as this.
Driving in the wee hours, storms and traffic long gone, my heart leapt to see the buses pull in at the terminal, to catch my husband’s awaited embrace. It was 4am by the time we finally slept in our own bed. But the digression of events that day had me wonder.
What do we do when plans change? When things are completely out of our control? When the other passengers on this ride with us get upset, angry, impatient? How do we lay not only our circumstances but our attitudes before the throne of God in the face of disappointment?
Steve didn’t arrive at 3:13pm as planned.
But he did come home.
God flooded us with patience and peace.
God paved the way in having my father-in-law available to be there for the kids.
Steve played a role in assuring the bus arrived safely.
Are we too caught up in the inconveniences of life to see the opportunities? Too overwhelmed with wondering how it will pan out to see how God has paved the way?
What is God doing in the midst of your reroute today?