Friday, January 20, 2012

Trust God in the Details

Last week my husband and I were excited because our son, Brooks, was flying in from across the world where he lives. We email, text and Skype … but there’s nothing like person to person! Especially with our kids. Lots of us have this challenge. Our kids go with the job opportunity that often takes them far away. To have Brooks home for three whole days would be heavenly for us and give him time for the jetlag rebound! I worried about his layover at O’Hare, which in my experience is prone to closing over things, like rain, wind, snow, ice and lake effect - anything. I steeled myself against COUNTing on his arrival and checked about 7 times a day! I think moms have a God-given right to hover like that!

We had a plan. Friday airport pick up by our St. Louis son-in-law and Friday dinner in our Illinois home for all of us until Brooks “crashed” in our earlier time zone!

As winter weather advisories loomed, I prayed “expecting,” as they say. Expecting a strong “maybe.” To be honest, I knew this little side trip could be cancelled by weather and Brooks would have to stay in Chicago, which was his meeting destination in the first place. The only thing I knew for sure… he would if he could.

With the FRIDAY dinner deadline in mind, I was slightly distracted by our first significant snow of the year on Thursday. With 2-3” here in St. Louis and a predicted 7-10” in Chicago, my anxiety meter went up. Maybe by Friday O’Hare would be shoveled out and Brooks’ flight would land. I must have had pretty balanced brain chemistry that Thursday, because when our daughter, Hannah, called and asked if she and the kids could come over to sled and stay for dinner, I said “YES!” Normally I’d be flying through the house with last minute prep. But the house was ready, so we sledded instead. My body was sledding, but my head was fussing over Brooks getting here the next day. We ended up eating dinner out. After all, I had my sites set on a big dinner the NEXT night when Brooks arrived.

Hannah’s husband was running late, so we ordered for her kids. Meanwhile, I’m planning how much baking I can still get done before I go to bed when these nice people go home! That’s when the kids at the dinner table looked straight past me and called out, “Brooksie!” There he was. A day early and that’s why their daddy was late! The airport run!

I turned and my eyes saw him, the beautiful sight of my son, but I couldn’t take it in. In fact, I couldn’t process his actually being there until later that evening. What IS that? It’s like a trick. When I pray for something and it’s answered, why don’t I “get it” right away? Why does it take so long for it to sink in?

In a way this reminds me of Acts 12 when King Herod was on a rampage against Christians and beheaded James, the brother of John? He put his next victim, the Apostle Peter, in prison under military guard until after Passover when he would be killed. The church prayed fervently to God for Peter’s release. The very night before Herod planned to execute him, Peter was asleep between two soldiers, secured by chains, with sentries guarding the doors. You can read how an angel tapped Peter on the shoulder to wake up, walked him out of the prison and down the street. Peter thought it was a vision. But realizing that he’d been rescued, he went to the house where they were praying for him. Rhoda, the maid, answers the door, recognizes his voice, doesn’t open the door, but in her excitement runs back to tell the others who tell her she’s crazy! Rhoda believes and the others, including the apostles, don’t! I can identify after seeing, but not seeing, Brooks a day early from across the world!

The take-away from all of this: We can get so antsy over the answer, we can’t recognize it when it arrives.

It’s Leap year… so let’s leap into 2012 expecting answers. Like Isaiah tells us, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear.” He’s the “more than” God..more than you would think or ask. As it turned out, Brooks caught an earlier flight due to a cancelled meeting. He decided to surprise us. By coming in a day early, although his international flight was an hour and a half late into O’Hare, he caught a flight to St. Louis with 10 minutes to spare. It was the last flight out of O’Hare because of the weather! No-one knows the behind the scenes story most of the time. Even more reason to trust God in the details of our lives.

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