Some friends gave me a voucher for a free United Airlines ticket that they were going to be unable to use. This was a real blessing because I was going to purchase a plane ticket to attend an ACMI (Association of Christians Ministry with Internationals) conference in Minnesota at the end of May. My friends were leaving the country (the next day, in fact), so I went over to pick up the voucher at their house. He told me that this voucher could be used for any flight in the 48 states and that he could also give it to someone else and that I would have to go the airport to get it exchanged for a ticket.
As grateful as I was to have the voucher, as I envisioned myself going to the ticket counter with this voucher (made out to someone else), my thinking was along the lines of “they aren’t going to let me use this.” I said, “Why don’t you write out a note that you are giving the ticket to me and sign it,” which he did.
So finally, on a day when I was already going to the airport to pickup an incoming Chinese student, I went a little early to exchange the voucher for a ticket. As I drove to the airport, in my mind I began to go over the various scenarios that I could imagine unfolding as I try to exchange this voucher with someone else’s name on it. If they said this, I would say that.
Then I began thinking about how when Israel would go out to battle, God did not want them to take too many into battle “lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me'” (Judges 7:2). Later, this verse also came to mind:
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (ESV)
So then I stopped preparing for possible lines of defense, and began asking God to help me. As I stood in line, there were two agents taking people from my line, both fairly pleasant looking. Then a third one came on duty–Miss Grumpy. So naturally I began to worry that I would get her. I continued to pray, but I also thought, maybe God wants me to get her to make sure I know that this was his doing.
Sure enough, she called me up. I handed her the voucher and, as she began typing, asked where I wanted to go. I figured that I should tell her that I was not the person listed on the voucher. She said, “Oh, well, he should have come with you to sign this over.”
I pulled out the scrap of paper with my friend’s note and signature. She looked at it and said, “That’s good enough for me.” And then she issued me my ticket for Minnesota. She didn’t even keep the note.
Thank you, Lord!