As I sit here in a plane returning to Hawaii after a short but very, very nice vacation in Phoenix, I feel so blessed. As I reflect upon these past few days, I am encouraged by the huge difference choosing to abide in Christ has made. I would describe the difference as extraordinarily ordinary. I experienced God in extraordinary ways in what I would describe as ordinary situations. Now that shouldn’t surprise me because that is what God does. He enters the natural and makes it supernatural. He takes ordinary situations and makes them extraordinary with His presence and power. Over the past few days, I thank God for experiencing His presence and power in extraordinarily ordinary ways and situations.
Just being on this plane heading home has been quite extraordinary. In fact the flight to Phoenix and now heading back has been what I would describe as pleasant. I have never every described a flight as pleasant. I have always disliked flying, the thought of being cooped up for hours and hours in a rather uncomfortable seat. But these flights have been pleasant! I know this is the result of God’s hand and growing in abiding in Him. Trusting Him and following His leading has made all the difference in the world. I actually got some rest on the plane. I got some recreation, a crossword puzzle. I got some writing done. And before I know it, we are preparing to land. Wow! That’s God’s power and presence at work.
Looking back at the past few days, I would say the most exciting thing was seeing God move extraordinarily in ordinary situations. From His leading to the right hotel, which was truly a sanctuary. Getting an unexpected upgrade to a junior suite didn’t hurt. All the divine appointments with people we met throughout our time there: Steve, the limo/taxi driver originally from Michigan, Casey the hardworking front desk employee, who Jo says will go a long way in her career, and Esmi at the Fossil store, celebrating the blessing of being employee of the month with a high five. Another ordinary time, meeting Kirk at his hotel, became extraordinary as God showed up as we talked and prayed together. It was a very powerful time that God used in light of the tough loss that followed the next day. Having dinner and encouraging Don and MaryAnn in the Lord was another extraordinarily ordinary time. Then at the game, surrounded by Cardinal fans, feeling really intimidated cheering for Kirk and the Redskins and a few minutes into the game, Mike and Summer from Texas, come and sit right next to Jo. And Summer is a passionate Redskin fan, from Texas, if you can believe that! Well the next thing I know, Jo is talking with her and Summer flips out when she learns that Kirk is kind of like family to us. Then the ordinary became extraordinary when Jo leans over and asks me to pray with her for Summer who has been trying to get pregnant. So there in the first quarter of Jo’s first NFL game, we pray for a new friend asking God to bless them with a child! Summer was so blessed she took a picture with Jo so she would remember when God’s blessing arrived. We met some friends of the Cousins on the way to the game and again God used Jo to encourage them in their walks with God.
Another really wonderful blessing was connecting with a high school classmate I haven’t seen since our grauation! God used Sara in so many ways during this short trip. She gave us her tickets to the football game, which were really great seats. She took us to Trader Joe’s to get some omiyage, stuff to take back home. As she drove us back to the hotel, Sara noticed a couple of homeless folks who had a handwritten note asking for a coat. She said she had one and made a mental note to find them the next day and give them her coat. For our flight home, she packed a healthy brea kfast for us. She’s a flight attendant and was heading home to see her mom on the same flight we were on. We were so blessed by her kindness. I saw a real life example of someone who exudes compassion and her example motivates me. And she actually knows Joe Montana!!! We were blessed to pray with her, asking God to bless her and to give her wisdom for the future. And we will continue to pray for her that she would experience God’s love and faithfulness in her life.
The truth is, I could go on and on. It was truly an extraordinary time! And I haven’t written anything about the game, which was the reason we went to Phoenix. I’ll write more about that in another post. The most amazing thing is that this trip was a testimony of what life can be if I would truly and continually abide in Him. Everything changes. My attitude. My feelings. My perspective. My focus. Instead of me, me, me, abiding helps me to focus on He, He, He. And when I do, I experience, WE, WE, WE! The ordinary becomes extraordinary. The natural becomes supernatural. And life with God, experiencing His presence and power becomes amazing.
“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.” 1 John 2:24
Thanks, Father, for the wonderful testimony and taste of what abiding in Christ can be everyday. I pray that I would take heed. I pray that I would learn to truly abide, enter Your presence and stay there. That I would move from me, me, me, to You, You, You, and experience the joy of WE, WE, WE. I ask for your grace to walk in that way. In Jesus’ name, Amen!