Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Flexibility, God’s Plan and Purpose

April 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Flexibility, God’s Plan and Purpose
By Denise Matthews

I must say that it was an honor getting to meet with the Iowa group this past weekend. While I tried to ensure that everyone in the training was familiar with the term “flexibility” over and over, I was met with the opportunity to exercise it to the FULLEST on Sunday. Our God has a sense of humor and a way of making himself present in the moment ;)!

God would both test and prove what I was training our team about regarding flexibility and God’s plan and purpose. Sunday I would be both delighted and frustrated to be part of this timely lesson as I began my long journey home from our training session. I was 4 minutes late for check in at the Moline airport, which caused my flight to be delayed 5 hours and put me on standby at each subsequent airport. This additional 5 hours gave me time to reflect on our meeting and put the phrase being “flexible” into action. I was happy to have my coffee, a great view of the air strip, and my Iphone. I reached the next airport around 2:30 pm at which point my heavy shoulder bag full of training materials and books broke. Once again the action word “flexible” played out as I fumbled the broken bag and it’s content, along with my carry on. Have any of you ever been to Colorado airport? It’s not just an airport~ it’s a huge mall that planes come into. 3 floors full of shops, restaurants and kiosks and, as not to allow anything but being flexible to enter into my day, my gate would be all the way at the opposite end of the expanse… “be flexible”, I kept telling myself. I finally made it to Phoenix about 4:30 and this would be the last flight that would get me home Sunday evening. The next flight was on a completely different airline. I had to go outside the airport, find a bus to take me to the flight terminal, check in again, only to discover that the flight I would need to take would be leaving at 8:30 pm and at that point was completely sold out. Even on standby I would most likely not make the flight and have to stay the night and leave in the morning. The word “flexible” was becoming an irritant at this point. I was trying to catch flights for nearly 10 hours and was becoming increasingly weary. I would be lying at this point if I didn’t say that I was near tears…but again “be flexible” was the phrase of the day. I had sent a facebook message saying that being flexible was allowing me to be thankful IN all things at the prior airport. I tried to keep it in mind and was telling myself if I couldn’t be flexible in a situation like this in the US, what would be my fate overseas? As I sat, I thought, “Okay God, I don’t know why I’m supposed to wait, but if I am then I will and I won’t complain (out-loud) lol” I even began to think of how nice it would be to sit in a nice hotel room and order room service vs. sitting in the airport! I waited for the plane to start boarding, hoping for a seat but preparing to stay overnight, or have Mark drive 5 hours to pick me up. My name, along with 3 others, was called up to the kiosk. I let them know who I was and the attendant told me to hand him my standby pass for my seat. I was shocked! He told me that someone had volunteered to give up their seat. I couldn’t believe it and started looking around. There was a little grey haired woman standing there with a smile on her face watching me. She never said that she gave up her seat but somehow I knew she did. I looked at her and said, “You gave up your seat didn’t you”. She said, “I prayed about if I should and God told me that someone needed to be on this plane. It was you, wasn’t it?” I told her about our mission training and how I tried to instill being flexible into the team and that I was being fully tested today. She hugged me and said, “God bless you for what you’re doing in Uganda, be thankful IN all things, and now you go home. You must be the one God wanted me to share my seat with”. She had no idea who it was or why but felt led by prayer to give her seat up. I did feel guilty going on board, but did so not wanting to steal the joy in her face of being obedient to God. I was sharing the story with the gentleman next to me and he was amazed, when suddenly I saw that grey haired women coming down the aisle. I was surprised to see her and caught her eyes as she passed by. Stunned I said, “What are you doing on board? You gave up your seat!” she smiled and said, “It was incredible, just as I was about to leave the attendant told me that someone else had volunteered their seat and that I was free to board the plane.” Tears filled my eyes and she too just knew that God had blessed her for her sacrifice and “flexibility”. What a day and what a blessing! Don’t we serve an amazing God?!

Everything we go through has a purpose whether it’s good, bad or in the middle. It’s not only affecting us but sometimes God blesses complete strangers through our “flexibility” and faith in Him.

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