I don’t always fully understand why God answers some prayers and not others with the outcome for which we are praying and hoping, but it really is cool when He does. My daughter and I did more short hikes this summer than we have in the past. She wanted to get conditioned for a backpacking trip in California with a small gathering of a larger homeschool alumni group that consists of people from all over the country. Although one person did have to be evac’d due to altitude sickness, there were no serious injuries. That was definitely an answer to prayer, and while my daughter could share several from her trip, I want to share the ones in which I personally saw God’s mercy and favor revealed.
It started when I drove my daughter to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, NH, and we discovered that she had actually booked her departing flight through Boston Logan Airport in Boston! Even though we had arrived two hours early, the travel agents were late, and by the time we discovered the mistake, we had only one hour before her flight was scheduled to leave, and Boston is about an hour from Manchester. She had the choice of buying another ticket or trying to catch another flight in Boston. We decided to drive to Boston.
When we arrived, I dropped her off and went to park the car. Inside the airport, I found her sitting on a bench with tears in her eyes. Apparently, she was given a standby ticket, but since neither of us had ever flown standby, I wasn’t sure what to do, and she said the agent was impatient and not very helpful. I suggested we go back to inquire and possibly purchase another ticket to ensure her flight. We were able to speak with a different agent, who was very compassionate and helpful. She informed us that the airline’s policy for missed flights was to issue a standby ticket, even if seats are available. She then suggested my daughter not waste her money buying another ticket, because the flight had one open seat as well as two passengers who had not yet checked in. She said, “You stand a really good chance of getting on.” She even gave me a gate pass so I could go through security and accompany her to the gate.
After waiting at the gate, her name was finally called, and she was given a ticket to her first destination. Hmm… we wondered why she wasn’t given a second ticket for the rest of her flight. The agent informed us that since my daughter had missed her original flight, she would again have to go on standby in Denver. Our hearts dropped. We were under the impression that if she got on the first flight, she was home free. We both silently prayed. Passengers began to board, and as she waited in line, the agent called her over again. Even though it was against policy, the agent had noticed the flight from Denver to LA had several empty seats, so she just went ahead and booked a seat for her. Tears ran down our cheeks. Praise God!
But that’s not all or even the best part.
My daughter is usually really good with planning and scheduling her own trips, but because of the confusion with her flight there and knowing she didn’t have a printout of her return flight, I sent her a text with the confirmation code. I also looked over her itinerary and noted she had only a 35 minute layover in Chicago, so I advised her to go straight to her gate upon landing. Unfortunately, her flight out of LA was late in departing such that it was due to arrive at the same time her connection was due to leave. Because the airport is two hours away from our home, even though I didn’t know if she would make it to Manchester that night, I had to head out anyway. And because her flight was due in at midnight, she had booked a hotel room for us. As I drove down the dark interstate, I prayed, I begged, I pleaded that the Lord would not make her stay in Chicago alone. I asked him to increase the speed of her present flight and delay her connecting one. I pleaded for His mercy.
All of a sudden I received a text, so I pulled over. Her flight had touched down in Chicago, the flight crew was aware of everyone’s situation to make their connections and would try to accommodate everyone’s needs. I thanked God as I started to drive again, and I continued to plead. I pulled over again when my phone signaled an incoming call. Yes, the plane had arrived, and the crew was aware, but there were no gates at which to dock! Really? She asked if I would mind picking her up in Boston if she missed her flight and could get one there. “Of course!” I said, even though I dreaded the thought of going to Boston at night. She later sent me a text letting me know she got on her original flight and would be flying into Manchester. Woo hoo! Apparently, when she’d gotten off the plane, she ran to the gate, but it was dark, and a woman informed her the door had already been closed. She sought out an agent to see if she could get to Boston, but she heard her name being called over the intercom. She left the counter and went to the gate, and the woman said, “I’m gonna get you on that flight!” She grabbed my daughter’s hand and took her down the ramp . Now, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble and give away the details, but the woman was able to get her on the flight. When my daughter found an empty seat in the front of the plane next to an elderly couple, she apologized for holding things up. The lady said something like, “Sweetie, I don’t know what you’re talking about. We were told they were having trouble with the baggage.” With a sigh of relief, tears in my eyes, and thanksgiving on my lips, knowing I had time before her arrival, I checked into our hotel and then waited for her at the airport.
But that’s still not all.
We had a nice time of catching up that night, and in the morning when I opened the Bible app on my phone, the reading for the day was Psalm 116. And this is what verses 1 and 2 say, “I love the LORD because he heard my plea for mercy, and listened to me. As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help.”
Thank you, Lord…