There was an unsettled feeling as I prepared to leave early that morning. We joked about going to the beach instead of the airport. My time in Israel was just too short to squeeze in everything I would want to, but God’s timing is perfect. I had much to reflect on during my stay as evidence of God’s timing. We have to rest in that every day. I battled for peace and resting in that peace as flight delays, airline changes, and little annoying events seemed to permeate the day. Waiting, luggage transfers, rescheduling flights, 4 wheelchair assistants instead of one or two, more waiting, obnoxious children not letting you sleep on a 12 hour flight (not the babies–their crying rarely bothers me). It all just added up to a crazy day.
There were some real blessings along the way, so by God’s grace I wasn’t totally frustrated. It would have been just too exhausting to go in that mode all day long. The 747-400 plane had some empty seats. The last minute change they made gave me 3 seats–but as the plane taxied, a woman came to sit with me. I had been so looking forward to stretching out for sleep. But she was kind and gracious and we did share the empty seat between us. It turned out she was a stewardess on that plane for the ride back, and a great seat-mate. There was an electric plug under my seat to recharge my dead US phone which I needed to let my ride in the states know I wasn’t on the plane he expected 3 hours earlier. I had looked in vain in the airport and managed only to get 1 text out, praying it would reach its destination. It didn’t, but I got into NYC and called as the plane hit the tarmac, just as my son was leaving to pick me up at the airport–3 hours too early.
Greeting my son at the airport in Rochester felt especially good after a very long and trying day- I had been awake for 24 hours with only a couple short naps. We spoke about the whole trip and the airplane fiasco and again commented on how perfect God’s timing is in the midst of life’s challenges. The whole airplane thing could have been much worse. As we walked to the front door, my heart was thankful for all God had done in the past 3 weeks. I had even had a dream while there of my son being my rescuer from a distressing circumstance. We commented on an unpleasant smell as walked up the steps. As I opened the door I was greeted by the strong odor of gas. I ran to the kitchen, turned off the burner on the stove that was leaking gas into the house with no flame, my son ran to open windows. I ordered Duane out of the house to breathe some fresh air and we began using cookie sheets to fan the gas out the doors, afraid to turn on any fans or anything that might create a spark. All was okay again after a couple hours of airing the house out in the 50 degree weather.
The beautiful ceramic Seder plate I brought back for a friend had been shattered, the result of the change of planes and my carry-on (so carefully packed in bubble-wrap that was to stay with me at all times) got thrown into the bottom of a tiny plane I got re-scheduled on. I realized the mistake of not remembering to remove the breakable items before they whisked my carry-on away from me, when I heard the luggage being thrown into the plane underneath my seat. “Thank you God that You are with me on this flight, after 24 hours my brain is just not functioning correctly”. My bed never felt so good, and my hope in God never felt so secure as when I laid my head to sleep at midnight. His timing is perfect. I was too exhausted to consider the “what ifs” of the day’s events outside of God’s timing.
Of course jet lag has it’s course. I’m up at 4:00am, still 7 hours ahead in Israeli time. My phone is buzzing at the moment with alerts from rockets landing again in the south of Israel. There were none during the 3 weeks I was there. I thank God for His grace and mercy in leading me through this prayer journey which I do not believe ends with my return to Rochester. I also thank God for all of you who have been praying. God bless you! We really need to hold one another up. I understand that more now than ever before. So pray for me to find the path God has for me to continue this journey. Prayer and financial support will be absolutely necessary–and time. My responsibilities at home and work are quite consuming, so I will need God’s timing to help me focus on the important. That, I think we all need. I will bless God for his perfect timing and seek to walk in it every moment of every day (even if I’m still limping just a little) .