Betty and Jane’s 747 took off and gained enough altitude to circle Zurich above the trees but not above the mountains. For an hour they read Psalm 91 and First Corinthians 15 and prayed for safety. After 18,000 gallons of gas had been emptied, the plane with its 350 occupants came down safely amid cheers, on a field where fire engines, police cars, and ambulances had lined up in preparation. Couldn’t God have kept that bird out of the motor? What about the long delay, the missed connections, the day-late arrival?

Two weeks later Libby said farewells after last-minute prayer and went off on another 747, Zurich bound, on the first lap of a journey to San Francisco. Heavy snow and fog prevented landing in Zurich, and the plane made its way back to Geneva, to take off twenty-four hours later. What about that missed day which was to be used for an important discussion on the other end, with workers whose place Libby was to take? What about the guidance so clearly given to travel on that particular plane? The same stormy night two people who had come in the other direction, from California to L’Abri, arrived to find that twenty-two others had arrived that same day and there might not be any available bed.

The reaction to the unexpected was the most important reality in each of these situations. The only time for demonstrating steadfast trust is in the moment-by-moment “now.”

Consider seriously just how and when we can do the Lord’s will rather than our own, in the light of these emphatic directions from the Word of God: “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even ...

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