LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

I have learned over the years that when you fly internationally you must expect delays. Flexibility and patience are required personal attributes.

When I arrived at the Manila airport terminal for my flight to Davao City, everything was going smoothly. I quickly passed through security and made my way to the gate where my flight was on schedule. Over the loudspeaker I heard a woman’s voice informing people that another flight had been delayed, and they all needed to move to a new gate to access a different plane. A surge of people moved past me as they hurried to their new location. Two more times this happened in the first 45 minutes I was there.

Then I heard the announcement about my flight. It was now delayed, and it would be loading a different plane at a different gate.  I calmly got up from my seat and made my way to the new gate location. Thirty minutes later another announcement got my attention. The original plane that had been delayed had arrived and would be prepared for our flight, but we needed to move back to the original gate.

When I arrived at that gate, I noticed a man speaking loudly and forcefully to one of the gate agents. He was very upset. When he was done, he came and stood near where I was seated. I spoke to Jesus about him and asked the Lord to calm his spirit. I then got up and went and stood next to him and started a conversation about delays.

I listened to him as he emotionally described the ineptitude of this airline and the reputation they have for delays. He told me how he spoke to the agent demanding compensation for his lost time. His request was refused. He was angry. After telling me all the details, he was motivated to go and speak with the agent again, so he left me.

When he returned, I asked him if anything had changed. “Nope! It will still be another 30 minutes and they don’t care how that makes us feel,” he said. I asked him what he did for a living and why he was flying to Davao. He said he was from the Untied States and was in the Navy. His mother lived in Davao and was very ill. He had been granted a one-week leave to visit her. He was very emotional because it felt like he was wasting time in an airport that could have been spent with her.

I can’t remember all the words I said to him at that moment, but they had a calming effect on him. I told him who I was and asked him if I could pray for him. He agreed. His heart instantly softened as I put my hand on his shoulder and I addressed King Jesus in my prayer, When I was done, he hugged me, apologized for his language and his anger, and thanked me for reaching out to help him get a better perspective on the situation.

Later, when we boarded the plane, I was already in my seat when he passed by. He looked down at me, put his hand on my shoulder, and smiled while he said thanks.

Dear friends, every day you cross paths with people who are going through untold difficulties in their lives. Our tendency is to avoid them when Jesus wants us to embrace them. We would rather criticize their behavior rather than compassionately find out how we could help. And on that day in the airport, if I had not been flexible and patient, I would have been that Navy man, and been unable to see his need because I was so focused on myself.

Pastor John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s