Well, it’s been a very long day! I got up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight out of Birmingham to New Jersey to be the featured speaker at an Addictions Victorious banquet of 400 people.
God had other plans.
While sitting at the airport waiting for the severe weather to clear, that first delay cleared and then the attendant announced, “We’re having another delay due to a mechanical error on the plane.” 20 minutes later, the same attendant announced, “We’re going to need a part for the plane and the mechanic is unable to get the plane ready until at least noon. So, we are planning for a noon departure.”
Noon? I have a connecting flight to catch in Dallas at 10 a.m. to get me to the Philadelphia/New Jersey area in time to speak tonight. Yikes!
At least they found the mechanical problem on the ground and not in the air so I’m thankful for that!
Well, to make a long story short, they were unable to get me on a flight that would get me and my wife there in time. They were even unable to get me on a different airline, too. Apparently, it is spring break and school is out next week so NO flights had available seating out of B’ham.
So, I called my brother in New Jersey and told him that I would be unable to come at all. He was very gracious to me and understood the dilemma I was in and how disappointed I was.
But it gets worse.
The pastor called to encourage me to come and worked so hard from New Jersey to find a flight for me to take DIRECTLY from Atlanta to Philadelphia (Philly is the nearest airport to NJ). He found one that I could make in time for the banquet and we booked it!
He books the flight for me as I am driving over 2 hours to Atlanta. I get to Atlanta in plenty of time and the attendant informs me in Atlanta, “That flight 339 is cancelled due to severe weather. Let me get you on a different flight.” He tries and tries to get me on first class on each flight the rest of the day and even the next day, but nothing works. Finally, he says that he could get me to fly out on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. but I would arrive after noon when the scheduled workshop on biblical counseling at the host church was nearly finished! Wow! No way to make it on time.
So, I had to cancel the entire trip even after driving to Atlanta today.
I was looking forward to speaking on my favorite topic – the power of Christ to transform anyone with an addiction – to 400 people. I was looking forward to teaching on Saturday the biblical counseling interactive presentation I had worked on for months to over 100 people. And I was looking forward to preaching on Sunday morning at the host church! Disappointment x 3!
But God is sovereign and He is good. In fact, all things work together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28) so I know this is meant for my good and the dear brothers and sisters in New Jersey!
So, pray for them as they scramble to make other arrangements. Pray for everyone to be encouraged in their very challenging ministry to those struggling with all types of addictions (www.addvicinc.org).
I love these brothers in New Jersey and am very thankful for their gracious attitude through all of this frustration. They ran radio promotions and made plans for this for 6 months so it is very disappointing to them as well.
God is sovereign and He is good.
Proverbs 16:9 states: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Proverbs 19:21 says: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
-Mark (accepting disappointment from my perspective only because I know His perspective is greater!)