“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)
During this past week (Jan 5-8, 2014), we suffered frigidly cold temperatures. The story affected the entire eastern part of the North American continent. Where we live, we were blanketed with 2 feet (60 cm) of snow and temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius, and we didn’t even have the worst of it. But even sunny Georgia suffered -16 degree temperatures.
By Monday, January 6, 2014, over 3700 flights had been cancelled.
On Tuesday the weather worsened. The roads were even more slippery, and blowing snow led to white-out conditions, claiming huge sections of the roads. Some major highways closed down completely. Many US schools were closed, and in Canada, school busses were cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even my wife had to cancel two doctor’s appointments due to the inclement weather.
The next day, Wednesday, my youngest day was supposed to fly back to Western Canada to continue his schooling. When we arrived home, he was shocked to learn that his plane had been cancelled. Apparently our airport had cancelled all incoming and outgoing flights for over eight hours, and the backlog of passengers was tremendous.
Deep down inside, I was relieved. I would have my son for another couple of days. Besides, I didn’t want him driving to the airport on inclement roads, and I certainly didn’t want him in an airplane on an icy runway.
When my wife arrived home, we left for our daily walk (It doesn’t matter how bad the weather is, nothing keeps us inside!). When we arrived back home, my son was all excited. The airport was beginning to open back up. To catch up on the backlog of stranded passengers, airlines were sending in their biggest planes to clear up the mess.
My son had waited for a long time to connect with someone from Air Canada. Suddenly he was disconnected, for no apparent reason. He called again, and this time there were no announcements, no music, only complete silence for two minutes. When a voice finally came on, he realized he had been connected with a line reserved for priority passengers. Somehow, due to the huge number of incoming calls of people anxious to reschedule their flights, there had been a glitch in the system, and he was inadvertently switched to the priority line. They had just one seat available on a flight Wednesday morning, a priority seat, and they gave it to our son, complete with a complementary meal and snack. This was no coincidence! Thank you Lord.
Still the roads were far from desirable, and my wife would have to drive him to the airport early in the morning. It’s a two hour drive in the best of times, and on such inclement roads, it would be pure suicide. Still, somehow, I was completely at peace, not worrying about anything. We had our last dinner together, a dinner prepared specially by my son, who would easily be able to get a job as a chef, and we enjoyed our evening to the maximum.
Once upstairs to prepare myself for bed, I was assaulted by doubt. “What if they didn’t make it? I would lose my son and my wife, both. Is this wise?” I recognized that voice from before, and it wasn’t from God’s Holy Spirit: Rather it was from one of the devil’s minions. A few weeks ago, I had learned that anything that disturbed my inner peace, unless I was dwelling in sin, came directly from one of the devil’s minions. So I did what I had learned worked stupendously: “Get out of my mind you evil one. You are not welcome here. I am a child of God. In Jesus’ name, out! I will trust solely in my Lord!”
I felt inner peace returning, but God knew I needed a sign that He would protect my family. He put into my mind the story of Esther and Mordecai. Mordecai discovered a plot against the king, and he and Esther saved the king from harm. Many years later, the tables were reversed, and this time, the king saved Esther and Mordecai. I knew God was in complete control. I had truly nothing to worry about.
The next morning I woke up at 3:30 a.m., just in time to say goodbye to my wife and son. As I went back to bed, I remembered the sign of Esther and Mordecai. I smiled and felt complete peace. Nothing disturbed my rest. My Father was taking care of my family.
They both arrived safely, one to the airport, and the other back to work.
Why worry when we can run into the arms of the only One who can give us rest, even amidst calamity? “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1, NIV) Thank you Jesus that we have nothing to worry about. You are our rest. You are our peace. We can face anything undisturbed when staying in your presence. Thank you Lord for being my everything!
(To access the entire “Restful Repose” devotional series, please click here.)