It is just time to fly out from NE Scotland, back to Holland and then on to Malta. On my last visit, I wrote the following.
Again I’m on an Air Malta flight from Amsterdam to Malta. Before taking off, I sat with my eyes closed and prayed to my heavenly Father, asking for safety, protection and God’s help to reach out to others sitting next to me. I believe God listens and always answers my prayers. Answers may not come exactly when I want, nor may they be answered as I expected. But God knows what’s best and I trust Him to give me the best. Therefore my expectations are always high because I serve a loving and great God. He who is forever the same, still does wonders and miracles. (Psalm 77) So do my prayers have an effect on my flights? Can my prayers avoid a tragedy, or can someone’s life be totally changed during a flight?
God’s interventions and miracles are certainly needed in a world where so many horrific things happen and many are suffering in some way or another or need a miracle in their lives. We don’t need to go back far to know the reality in everyday life. Lately there were tragedies with flights of all kinds. Many from my own country, the Netherlands, died in the plane that was shot out of the sky above the Ukraine. The latest tragedy of a couple of weeks ago was the German plane that was purposely crashed into an Alpine mountain by a sick pilot. So I wonder, what difference would it have made if a praying Christian had been on board?
In my experience, over the many years and hundreds of thousands of miles flown, I’ve been on countless flights that could have been a disaster. Russian fights that were way overbooked, with folk standing in the bathrooms, and others standing in the service area drinking vodka i.o.t forget any scary thoughts of possibly crashing. I remember how the plane from Moscow took off; with all its extra weight, it took forever to get off of the ground. In the meantime we drove past many planes that were in some way not flyable – planes covered up, planes missing a motor or some other part, etc.
How about the different flights where ice had to be sprayed off of the wings? Or there was so much wind, that the plane wobbled back and forth as we landed or took off. One time I had to wait extra time in a giant Boing 474 because one of the tires had to be replaced. So while we all sat inside, the plane was jacked up on one side, and a new tire was put on.
On another cross Atlantic flight I thought the plane was going to explode as lightning hit us – what a BANG and what a flash of light! Throughout the plane people were terrified and very upset, the rest of the flight probably contemplating what the effects are from such a bang and if they will make it. During one Greek flight from the USA, a terrorist was taken on board. Before taking off, we all had to exit the plane and identify our bag(s) because the authorities thought an extra bag had been loaded onto the plane that contained a bomb.
How about the flight I’m on right now? The captain just announced that if any of us passengers have been in Kenya, Liberia or ?, that he or she make themselves known. This of course has to do with the Ebola crisis. Most likely, if that person is a tourist, he can forget his vacation. But probably all of us will be in trouble because we’ve been breathing the same air of the plane. However, apparently I was saved another disaster as I got off the plane and was not held in isolation. “Thank You, Lord! How good it is to trust You in all circumstances. You have again answered my prayers and guided me safely along my way.”
But most importantly, in response to prayer and God’s leading, are the folk, that travelled with me on all those flights, who were open to the Gospel, with quite a few giving their lives to the Lord. If I ever get my book done on “Evangelism and the church” I will share exciting stories of God’s dealings in people’s lives. It included young and old, black, white and coloured, plain and professional folk, stewards, pilots and whole group of stewards and passengers. God touched them all and each story is unique. They all show that with God nothing is impossible and we are always, in prayer, to expect God to do something and use us. Yes, He desires to use even you and me, if only we trust Him completely. Relying on Him we go in peace and expect His miracles in people’s lives.