Pray for Opportunities

October 18, 2010

I flew to Sacramento recently on flight 262. I’ve never remembered my flight number before, but this flight was very different. As I do when I am flying, I began praying for the people sitting next to me. I was praying for an opportunity for the gospel. I know most people are praying quite the opposite, “please don’t sit by me” as they see each person walk the center aisle, gazing at their ticket. One by one people came in and no one sat next to me. I had a grandmother with her 2 year old grandchild who was in desperate need of discipline in the aisle across from me—her hands were beyond full. I had a business meeting going on in the aisle in front of me. There was literally no one that would be available to talk about spiritual things, so I thought. I continued to pray that a “door would be opened” to me for the gospel (Col 4:2-3). If I only knew what would happen in just over an hour on the flight from Long Beach to Sacramento.

The moment the plane landed I knew something was wrong. The plane lunged forward as if the brakes were on. Then we heard a loud “POP” from under the plane. Coming to the fastest stop I’ve ever experienced on an aircraft, my heart was racing! Just then “FLIGHT CREW, PREPARE FOR EGRES”, the captain called over the loud speaker.  Having been in the Air Force I knew what that meant, (Emergency, Ground, Escape). The flight crew sprung into action, popping open the emergency hatches and deploying the inflatable slides. “WE NEED TO EXIT THE AIR CRAFT, EVERYONE OFF, EVERYONE OFF NOW!” The fastest landing ever was followed by the speediest de-boarding ever.

I helped the 2 year old and his grandmother down the aisle and then down the slide following right behind. At the bottom we were rushed to safety (about 100 yards away) where we were able to see flames coming from the landing gear. The grandmother thanked me for helping her and said, “thank God we’re all OK.” And then I got it. In His wonderful sovereignty God gave me the opportunity I was praying for. I was able to share with the Grandmother who I had considered to be unapproachable with the gospel. God is sovereign even over malfunctioning airplane brakes and old tires, for His purposes. Our job: pray for opportunities and be ready to respond when He gives them to us.

Blessings, Alvin

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