If you’re anything like me, when you travel you like to have every minute of every day mapped out. I want order and structure to my leisure because without it, I might (definitely) begin to feel stressed out or unprepared for the trip. I’m the type of person who, before the trip, has nightmares of the things that might go wrong and thus plan/pack accordingly.
Of course, life happens and, more often than not, those plans become disrupted or disjointed in some form and I then have two options: go with the flow and take it in stride putting away all anxiety through prayer or have a freak out moment and allow stress to overwhelm me, robbing me of my joy and peace. To be honest, more often than not I let those disruptions rob me of my peace.
Last summer I was on a flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to Luxembourg but had a layover in Manchester, England. This was two days after the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. I was already feeling slight nervousness to head to that area after such a terrible act of violence. While in the air for our first flight, I was jolted awake by some turbulence and opened my eyes to see two of the flight attendants looking out the window at our right engine. Moments later, the pilot came on the loudspeaker to let us know our right engine had “momentarily stopped working.” We would be making a “planned emergency landing” in Manchester.
Can you imagine my panic? I was already feeling jittery about flying into Manchester and now the plane’s engine was not working. Quite obviously, we made it. But you had better believe I was praying my little heart out on that plane. My prayer was not of quiet serenity but panicked pleading. It sounded more like “Oh. Please, Jesus! I don’t want to die today.”
I felt anxiety in my heart for the rest of the day and for a good amount of my trip afterwards. But is it beyond God’s control to settle me down in those moments when I encounter some change or hiccup in my plans? Is it beyond His reach to change my circumstances—however big or small? Did God somehow “forget” that plane’s engine would go out? Was I overlooked in the expanse of the cosmos?
No, certainly not. In the words of one of my pastors, “God saw this day.” God saw my panic in the airport after landing. He saw my tears. He saw me fearfully trying to get ahold of my mother. He saw it and He was there in the midst of it. So as you plan your summer, your trips, or your future, know God sees it. Allow Philippians 4:6-7 to transform you as you become who God created you to be:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”