On Monday I began telling the story of our infamous trip to Scotland, and how we got off on a very bad start when we missed our connector in London to Aberdeen, resulting in us having to spend the night in London. We were pretty sure that was a bad as it coule get… Little did we know…
The hotel and meal vouchers were a real blessing to us. We ate well and slept soundly. The only problem was that we got in very, very late, and we only had 3 hours to enjoy the comfy bed before we had to be back at the airport! And despite the fact that we arrived at 5:00 am, we still had to wait over four hours to see an agent about getting us connecting flights into Scotland. By this time, we had already missed my wife’s most anticipated part of the trip. A Gordon by birth, she was really looking forward to being in Gordon territory, in Aberdeen, and we knew that this part of the trip was completely lost. However, if the airline could fly us directly to the Orkneys, where our itinerary put us at the end of this day, we would be okay. If Aberdeen was my wife’s first choice of places to visit in Scotland, the Orkneys were definitely her second choice!
But it was not to be. The earliest the airline could get us to the Orkneys was in two days. They didn’t wish to put us up in London for two more days, and neither did we wish for them to do that. We wanted to get into Scotland! Besides, that would put us an extra two days behind our itinerary, and there would be more hotels, flights and rental cars to cancel, more arrangements to make, etc. When the agent offered us a direct flight to Edinborough at noon that day, we decided to take it. From there, we could rent a car and drive to the next place on our itinerary. The only down side, the entire Eastern part of our Scotland trip was completely… Gone!
We went back to the hotel and showered, then went down to the restaurant to spend a couple more of the meal vouchers on a delicious gourmet breakfast buffet. We lamented the loss of the eastern part of our trip as we ate, but God has a way of always turning bad things into good. Hasn’t He promised, “…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…” (Romans 8:28 NIV)?
As we meditated on this, the excitement of getting to Scotland slowly returned; and when the car rental and hotel reservations were adjusted without problems, we were sure things were definitely turning around. It was with this optimism that we arrived at the Edinborough airport to discover … that our luggage hadn’t made the trip with us…
Great! What else could go wrong???
To say we weren’t in the best of spirits would have been an understatement. What, with losing out on the entire eastern portion of our trip and now, finally arriving in Scotland without luggage, it seemed the entire trip was doomed. We realized then that we had a choice to make: We could either continue to grieve what we had lost, or we could try to make the best of everything and enjoy what remnants of the trip we had left.
It took awhile, but we finally began to hear God speaking to us of the blessings He was, indeed, throwing our way. By being in Inverness a day early, we would actually have adequate time to explore the region and truly do it justice. Besides, that first full day in Inverness was gorgeously warm, without even a cloud in the sky. Had we been on our planned itinerary, we would have been traveling for the entire length of this beautiful day, which, as it turned out, was the only pretty day of our entire trip! Besides all this, our hosts at the B&B were charming. Had we not had the difficulties sparked by the missed flight in London, we wouldn’t have even been staying at this particular B&B, and we wouldn’t have ever gotten to know them. That would have been a real loss. And fortunately I had taken the precaution of purchasing traveler’s insurance, so we were able to buy a few of the things we so desperately needed from our luggage. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. God does truly work all things for the good for those who love Him. Despite the losses, we had our health, we had each other, we had a wonderful place to stay and a beautiful region to explore, with an entire extra day to do so! Hasn’t God asked us to, “…be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you…'” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)?
Whatever it is that is disappointing you right now, give it to the Lord. Let Him be in charge of the calamities and all the details that ensure, then be prepared to watch for the blessings He will throw your way to help compensate for the losses. Remember, “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV). He will truly never leave you or forsake you, for He loves you, He has promised to make all things new (See Rev. 21:5), and He always keeps His promises (See Jeremiah 1:12)!
In HIs Love,
Unfortunately for us, our change in attitude didn’t stop the flow of bad circumstances that seemed to somehow be intertwined in this Scotland trip. Funny how a “dream vacation” can quickly turn to a “nightmare”… Join us next Friday for Scotland! Part 3.
(To access the entire “Scotland!” devotional series, please click here.)