Word of the Month

The Lord cares for us

July 2009

In divine services I have mentioned on occasion that experiences of faith are important for us. They inspire us in our faith. I would like to relate one such experience to you: I had planned to visit God’s children in Central America, and had scheduled a service in Nicaragua. The flight took me to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, via Miami.

In Miami I noticed that the passport control and security checks were very time-consuming. All incoming passengers had to make their way through the screening areas, and long lines developed as a result. Processing was extremely sluggish. I needed a good two hours just to get through, and I began thinking about the return flight with mixed emotions.

After Nicaragua, there was another divine service scheduled for Panama. From there I was to fly back to Germany – via Miami.

When I arrived in Miami on my return flight, there were barely two hours between my connecting flights, and even that shrank to less than one and a half hours as a result of a delay in my first flight. I had prayed intensively before setting off on my return flight, and was thus confident that the Lord would prepare the way so that I would be able to catch my connecting flight to Germany in time. But my faith was put to the test.

Long lines had again formed in the passport control area. There were at least 20 people lined up at each of the screening terminals. Given the experience of my flight to Nicaragua, I knew that there was no way I could expect to make it through within an hour, so I talked to some of the travellers ahead of me. I explained my situation and asked them to let me go ahead. But as often happens in such cases, they all pointed out that they too were in a hurry, and could not possibly afford to lose any more time. Even the officials I spoke to could only shrug their shoulders. And time was ticking.

“Well then,” I thought to myself, “I will make one last effort.” Quietly I prayed: “Dear God, please send me an angel who will get me through quickly, otherwise I will miss my connecting flight.”

Missing this flight would have entailed further inconveniences for me, and would also have caused significant turmoil for my agenda over the next few days, since there were meetings, conferences, etc. planned over this space of time. So it was that I made one last-ditch effort. Once again I spoke to an official standing nearby, but he too signalled his indifference to my situation. Nevertheless, he referred me to another official: “Over there by the counter in the corner you will find a man in uniform. You can tell him your situation.”

I went to the counter and asked the man for help. But even this official did not seem particularly interested in my problems. I had the feeling that this man could hardly be bothered to do anything for me. But then something peculiar happened: the man looked at me for a few seconds, and I noticed that something was going on within his mind. After a few seconds, his expression changed. He got up and told me: “I will help you.”

He went with me to the screening area reserved for processing diplomats. There were a few people – obviously aircraft crews – waiting there already, but although they protested somewhat as we passed, they kept their reaction to a minimum because I was in the company of this uniformed official. My companion then referred me to the official at the counter, and the latter immediately waved me on.

I made it through so quickly that I just barely had time to thank the official who had helped me. Then I ran off to the check-in counter. There too I was confronted with long line-ups. But there was one particular counter at which no line had yet formed, as the employee stationed there was still occupied with some other work. When I asked her whether she could help me, she immediately expressed her willingness to do so, telephoned ahead to the gate to announce a delayed passenger, handed me my boarding pass, and accompanied me to the luggage control. I had caught my flight in time! Not five minutes after I had boarded the aircraft, the doors were closed.

I sat there as though in a dream and let the whole scene pass before my eyes again. Somehow I could still feel, even afterward, that angels were all around me, and that they had cleared the way for me. Everything was much more incredible than I can actually describe in words. The Lord had indeed helped!

Perhaps my experience sounds a little fanatical to some, but my gratitude to our heavenly Father for this experience is enormous!

Wilhelm Leber