I showed up at the airport, blurry eyed and tired. Hubby had to drop me off on his way to work. Seven hours early for my flight to Seattle. Time to sit and write and read to my heart’s content. Or so I thought.
As I handed the desk attendant my ID and confirmation number, I was greeted with a blank stare. For fifteen minutes I stood there wondering why my name wasn’t showing up on his roster. My beloved, worn leather computer satchel suddenly felt like a bag of lead on my shoulder when he looked at me and said,
“You were supposed to fly out yesterday.”
The satchel fell to the floor as it slid off of my suddenly sagging shoulders. What? How could this be?
I had plans.
A schedule to keep.
Other people counting on me.
And I sure as heck didn’t want to buy another ticket.
A black cloud made its way over my discouraged head.
But, as is often the case in life, a silver lining was about to expose itself in ways I couldn’t have known. And it started with the next words that I didn’t expect.
“But it looks like I can get you on the next flight.”
A mere $25.00 later, I was power walking my way through security and on to a flight that wasn’t supposed to be mine.
Now considered a standby passenger, I had to wait for my seat assignment until everyone else had boarded. And as I made my way through that crowded plane,
I was just glad that seat 6D had my name on it.
That is, until I got there.
One little mama with two toddlers, one of whom was in MY seat. Carefully and gently, I looked at this already weary woman and said,
“I think this is my seat.”
This bit of information didn’t sit well with either mama or 15-month-old daughter, who fiercely clung to this now popular seat and cried like a hurt puppy when her mother brought her over to her lap.
The snide comment and cold resistance that followed left my attempt at friendly conversation frozen in mid air. All I could think was,
This is going to be the longest hour forty-five in flight history.
At this point, said toddler was now poking me and no doubt calling me names in her baby talk gibberish. I prepared myself to go to that happy place in my mind where frustration and irritation and even dark clouds couldn’t touch me. Not even with it’s grubby and angry little baby hands.
Enter, a little more silver lining.
Right before take off, a man came and stood next to me. It was apparent that this was daddy to this bunch. He announced that his seating assignment was right behind them.
Irritated mommy suddenly looked crestfallen as her children climbed all over her. But I was smiling.
This was my chance for escape.
I offered my seat to this very thankful man and agreed to take his seat in the next row. The once aggravated mother now smiled at me for the first time. Somehow it suddenly didn’t matter to me that I had traded for a middle seat between two strangers.
Turns out, seat 7E was exactly where God wanted me.
The silver was growing.
I tested the waters of conversation potential by greeting the woman next to the window. I could tell by her sweet smile and response that meaningful interaction was going to take place for the next hour and a half.
And it did. In ways I can’t even explain. Miraculous, deep, mysterious ways. Connection. Encouragement. Soul chat.
God orchestrated a purposeful meeting through my “wrong place, wrong time” mistake.
Right where I needed to be.
Wrong suddenly took a sharp turn to the Right.
Black clouds gave way to silver linings.
God does that all the time, even when we don’t have the eyes to see it.
He takes our mistakes, our failures and the things that seem to be going all wrong and uses them to construct something that is better, stronger, more meaningful than we ever could have dreamed.
Our black clouds of discouragement carry silver linings of purpose when we ask Him for the eyes to see it.
Sometimes what we see as “wrong” is the beginning of His “right”.
Are you discouraged, frustrated, defeated by circumstances or situations? Are you viewing them as problems instead of opportunities?
– Do you feel like you’re a “day late”?
– On the wrong “flight”?
– In the wrong “seat”?
What specific thing can you name that you want to look at differently? Just one thing.
Look a little closer at that black cloud. Can you see a hint of silver?
Isaiah 55:9 – For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (From His vantage point, all He can see is the silver!)
Isaiah 40:28 – Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.