This last week we took a quick holiday getaway to visit family in Dallas. It was great to see them, but we were really eager to get home on Wednesday. The boys were starting school on Thursday, Camilla had her first pregnancy checkup, and I had a huge load of work to do and was eager to get back in the office.
Wednesday morning we got up super early in the cold and actually made it out on time. We said our tearful goodbyes, went through the baggage check-in process, got through the TSA checkpoint, and settled into seats in the waiting lobby. Shortly after we settled in at our gate, they announced that our flight was delayed. What should have been about an hour of waiting was stretched to two and a half. As a parent, this is one of those situations you dread: trying to keep energetic, fun-loving, and restless children under control. I was on high alert, keeping two eyes on Matthew and an eye on each of the other boys, counting down the minutes until we could board and be on our way home.
As I watched the minutes tick down to about 10 before we were to board, the update screen flashed with the message: flight canceled. All 150 or so of us needed to find another way back home to Florida. Has this ever happened to you? All 150 of us collectively panicked and scrambled to make accommodations to get back home, or wherever it was we were supposed to do in Florida. To make a long story short, we were able to make it back safely, but without our luggage and a day late. We’re still waiting for our warm weather clothes to be mailed to our house.
We didn’t ask for this. It certainly wasn’t pleasant. It was inconvenient. But there was nothing we could do about it. We’re still wrestling through the repercussions of it. Trying to find ways to redeem the story. As a pastor, one of the best ways to deal with disappointing situations is to turn them into sermon illustrations and have a little group therapy. So tell me- who else can relate to being stranded by an airline? Often in life we encounter situations that are out of our control, they are uncomfortable, and cause us a lot of frustration.
Little is more frustrating to me than to watch our nation and world become increasingly hostile to Christianity. I could list a thousand stats here to prove the point, but do I really need to? No- we all see and feel the pressure of the world around us that sees Biblical Christian Values as not only outdated, but evil and in need of shouting down. As I was reading your answers to the 2022 year end check in that we sent out last month, one resounding request was to teach on how we can endure the coming persecution. Another was to talk on end times. The two are related and important, and both are found in the Book of Daniel.
We will be kicking off a study on the Book of Daniel this weekend as we look at the story of a remarkable man whose faith was under fire. If we listen closely to his story, we will find strength, inspiration, comfort, and peace in how God sustained him through incredible times of trial. I invite you to join with us this weekend as we begin this journey together. Our socially distanced service is Saturday afternoon at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online if you can’t make it in person. We also have excellent Sunday School classes at 9 for all ages.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!