There have been many times in my life that people have used the word luck. I’m not a great believer of the word, except for the day I hit a hole-in-one on a par three—now that was luck!
A few years ago, though, I coordinated a trip to the Ukraine for a team of about twenty people; this included my man and our two older children, Taylor and Austin. Check-in at the airport for a team that size can be a little hectic as passports are checked and baggage weighed. Everything seemingly was smooth until we went through security. As I put my shoes back on and grabbed my bags, I felt a tug on my arm.
”Mom, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I have lost my passport,” said Austin.
”I don’t understand son. You had it when we checked in.”
Austin proceeded to explain that somewhere between checking in and the security point, he had lost it. He explained that he actually went through security with his driver’s license. As calmly as possible, we searched his pockets and backpack. No passport. The team continued to make their way to the gate, while Troy, Austin and I went back to the area where we checked in. I didn’t want to panic, but my heart began to race.
Lord, please help us…
After explaining to the staff our situation, they began to search the system and found where he had indeed used his passport to check-in. They looked everywhere around their stations, on the floor and in trash cans, but found nothing.
“Mrs. Madge, I need to tell you that Austin is fine as long as he is in the states, but when your flight leaves Charlotte, he is no longer in our jurisdiction. When the flight lands in Vienna, he will be detained there and will not be able to travel with you to Ukraine without a passport.”
Dear Jesus, what do we do…?
We looked at our watch and knew the flight was boarding. Troy told me to get on the flight with Austin and he would be there shortly. I left him still talking to the agent. We agreed to make the decision in Charlotte whether or not Austin would travel with us. Austin and I ran to the gate. Everyone was already on board and the attendant was getting ready to shut the door.
“Wait! Hold the door! My husband is on his way. We are taking a missions team to the Ukraine…”
To which the blonde-haired beauty questioned, “Rhonda?”
”I’m Michelle Harrison, your sorority sister.”
Luck? I think not. I had not seen Michelle in over twenty years. God was working on our behalf. She walked over and held the door until Troy arrived. With hugs, we boarded the plane.
Word began to travel throughout the team about our dilemma. After we arrived in Charlotte, we searched his backpack again and checked all the belongings of every team member. Nothing.
I went to the bathroom and in the last stall, I knelt to pray…
Lord, please help us. I’m declaring in the name above all names, Jesus Christ, that the devil is not going to win this battle today. I know he is trying to keep my son from the trip. Please intervene on our behalf. Greater are you Lord…Greater are you. Help me find that passport. I trust that whatever happens—it is your will. Amen.
As I walked back to meet the group, Troy approached me and whispered in my ear, “He can’t go any further without the passport. You know that, right?” I nodded in agreement, unable to speak.
We walked up to the team who had all huddled together around Austin. I knelt before him trying to find the words. Tears glistened in his eyes as he knew what I was about to say.
Check his backpack one last time…
“Austin, give me your backpack and let me look in it one more time son.”
I reached for the large compartment zipper. I unzipped and right before my eyes, on top of a box of Cheez-it crackers, was the passport.
Luck? Not a chance.
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:26-28