The Purpose of My Trip
The loudspeaker on the plane crackled and the pilot announced, “Don’t be troubled ladies and gentlemen. We will be encountering a little turbulence in the next few minutes. But it shouldn’t last long.”
The plane dropped about twenty feet, my stomach bottomed out and I saw the man across the aisle with his coffee cup in hand. In amazement I saw the coffee leave the cup and then splash back down.
Stifled gasps and muffled prayers all over the plane quieted as the bumpy ride smoothed out. The stewardesses continued serving coffee and beverages.
The stewardess asked if I wanted a refill of coffee. Then she asked, “Are you going to visit Brazil?”
“No,” I replied. “I’ve lived there for forty years. I’m going home.”
She smiled. “I guess we all are happy when we are going home.” She picked up my empty cup and I closed my tray. I leaned back in my seat and continued my rerun of my recent trip to the U.S.
It had been a wonderful trip, from Minnesota to Seattle and then California to see all my family. My husband and I had lived in California for years, but now he had been living in heaven for two years so I had made this trip alone.
On the freeway to the airport, I mentioned to Robert how sad I was that he had never committed his life to the Lord. “But I think the Lord gave me two promises one day”
He glanced at me in curiosity. “What were the promises, grandma?”
“There’s one that says ,’All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace.’ I know what a tough time you’ve been having, losing your girl friend, not getting ahead at work, and just feeling like God has abandoned you.” Tears filled my eyes as I thought of my deep, deep desire to have him know the Lord as his own Savior.
“Right,” he agreed. “It seemed like God didn’t really care about me.”
“But the other promise encouraged me even more,” I said
“You will go out in joy….”
“Go where?” he asked
“I think God was telling me that when I go to heaven, I can go with joy, knowing that some day I will see all my family there too.” I sighed. “But I can’t go out in joy knowing that you aren’t even headed that way.”
“Then you’re wrong, Gram. About a month ago I drove past the Crystal Cathedral when they were having a morning service. I decided to see what it was like inside. I was curious. Well, all I can say is that when I came out, I was a different man. I met the Lord there that day and my life is totally changed.”
So the last barrier was gone. Good, because I knew my heart might give out at any time. But now I was ready.
Soon we would be landing, so when the stewardess headed for the back of the plane, I slipped ahead to the first class section, to make it easier to get off.
The plane landed and I headed for the exit. The wheelchair that I had requested hadn’t come yet but I found I could walk easily enough so headed up the ramp to the airport waiting room. Maybe my son, Bob, would be there waiting for me. But to my surprise, the ones waiting for me were totally unexpected. My husband, my sister and brother, and my mother were in a group of people who were holding out their hands toward me and smiling.
“Welcome, home, Mary!” they all cried.
I hardly noticed that the steward and a helper were wheeling a blanket-covered gurney off the plane. I was too happy to notice anything except the fact that I was finally home.
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Isaiah 54:13 (NIV). Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)
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