It is completely normal for me to run late. Especially when I’m trying to catch a flight. On this particular day after, however, I arrived at the airport much earlier than normal.
I was faced with a dilemma, pay $75 and get home two hours earlier, or save the money and enjoy some time to relax and reflect on the conference I had just left. Not feeling that I could justify the added expense, I checked my luggage, went through security, and boarded the train that would take me to my gate in terminal B.
With time to kill and a tummy to fill, I eyed the TGI Friday’s located near my gate, B21, then walked into the restaurant. The hostess led me toward the back room to be seated.
“Can I sit here instead?” I asked as we passed by a tiny booth in the middle of the restaurant.
“Sure!” She replied. “Your server will be with you in a moment.”
A beautiful young woman named Bria greeted me. She liked my hair. I liked her friendliness. She told me about her two littles – a boy and a girl who are two and three. I told her about my teenagers who are growing up far too fast. We shared smiles and conversation then she took my drink order while I turned my attention to the menu.
After she returned with my drink and recommended the salmon I told her that I would be praying for my meal and asked her if there was anything I could pray for her about.
“Yes!” She said, seeming somewhat amazed that I had asked. “That would be great. My husband has a court date this week and we really need prayer.”
She had tears in her eyes.
“What’s your husband’s name?”
She continued to wait on tables. I prayed.
Coming back to the table, she asked me what I do for a living. I told her.
“What is your husband going to court for?” I asked.
Serious face. “He was just doing a favor for a friend. The lawyers can’t even believe he was charged… but, it’s a really bad situation.”
“If convicted, how long could he possibly be in prison?” I asked gently.
“10-20 years.” She said with eyes that searched mine for hope. “I’m really scared.”
“Oh, man. I’m sorry Bria. That’s hard stuff.”
She waited on a few more customers. I prayed.
We chatted with every table visit and I told her that I would send her a few items to encourage her.
Hungry for hope, she promised to email.
She waited on a few more customers. I prayed.
When she brought my check she looked me in the eye, leaned in close and softly said, “THIS MORNING I prayed and asked God to send me a sign.” Then she leaned in a little closer and said, “I believe you are my sign. Thank you so much.”
Wow. Chill bumps.
I agreed and told her that the Lord surely wants her to know that she is loved and that He is listening. We said goodbye as new friends, knowing that we had both just experienced God.
I paid my bill and headed to my gate: B21.
I was early for my flight so I wasn’t surprised to see that the gate board did not say that the next flight was to Charlotte. After a few minutes I looked up and realized the flight on the board was too close to my flight time to make sense. So I pulled out my ticket and looked at my gate number. D21.
My ticket said D21.
I was supposed to be at gate D21. That’s in a completely different terminal.
And right away I knew.
I knew that the LORD had me arrive at the airport early. I knew that the LORD led me to pass up the earlier flight. I knew that the LORD had placed B21 in my mind so that I would go to terminal B and connect with Bria.
Before heading to the train that would take me to the D terminal, I ran back into TGI Friday’s to find her.
“Bria! Just wanted to let you know that my gate is D21. For some reason I thought I was flying out of B21. You’re the reason. God really DID send me to be your sign. He’s listening.”
Oh, the look she gave me.
Does God really hear our prayers? You bet He does.
My chill bumps had chill bumps.
HIS grace held us close as we hugged and said another quick goodbye. Then I headed to terminal D with a fresh awe for a God that loves so much.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
And not one of them is forgotten before God.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Dear Lord, You are such a personal, loving God! Who am I that You would see, know and care about me? Yet, You do! Thank You for Your love. Thank You for hearing me when I pray. Help me to rest in Your love, trust Your plan and move in Your leading. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Read Psalm 18:6, “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”
How has God been attentive and responsive to your prayers in the past? How can and should the truth of His love for you affect your current challenges? Grab your journal and hash it out, or leave a comment below to discuss it further and encourage one another.