A Dynamic Duo

October 25, 2014

by Maria Fontaine

Our lives are filled with events that provide examples and illustrations of spiritual principles which we can often apply to our life or situation. Here’s one that a friend of mine experienced just the other day.

This dear friend was making an international business trip. Due to weather and other complications, her departing flight had been repeatedly delayed, and she finally ended up being transferred to a different airline.

At last she arrived at her destination, seven hours later than she’d expected. Her luggage hadn’t arrived with her, though, and she had only the clothes she was wearing and a few things that her friends scrounged up for her. Her time was too limited to shop for other clothes.

Spending nearly every spare moment over the next three days, she repeatedly called both airlines in an attempt to locate her missing suitcase. However, she faced an ongoing barrage of disparaging and sometimes rude comments, with both airlines blaming the other and even her. One representative after another repeatedly told her they had no idea what had become of her luggage.

Finally, the news she had most dreaded: There was absolutely no possibility of tracing her missing suitcase because the number on her luggage claim tag had now been assigned to another customer.

We had been praying for the restoration of her luggage throughout this time in response to her request. Still, it seemed as if she had exhausted every option. She had every reason to just give up. She’d done all she could. But she had also brought items for people at her destination that they were waiting for and needed. Being certain that the Lord did not want those important supplies for His children to just be lost, she refused to cave in to the seeming impossibility of the situation. Illustrating what the Lord told one of His children to do in the Bible, she set her face as flint and continued to call repeatedly. (See Isaiah 50:7.)

On the fourth day, yet another customer service person told her that there was nothing they could do. At this point, my friend told the airline representative in a firm but calm voice, “Look! I’ve been wearing the same clothes for four days, and I need my suitcase! I’m not going to stop calling until you do something about it.” (She could have added, “Even if you don’t know where my suitcase is, I know God does and He is going to help me—and you—locate it!”)

Suddenly, the woman on the other end of the line paused, and then said, “Okay, hold on and I’ll try again.” Within less than a minute she came back on the line to announce that the suitcase was at my friend’s destination and was being held in customs! Armed with this new information, she proceeded to the airport. With a little more effort, backed by everyone’s prayers, she soon had her luggage in hand.

Like the importunate woman in the parable Jesus told (Luke 18:1–8), sometimes we have to keep on asking, knocking, and seeking long after the promise seems unattainable. Then comes the victory.

About the same time as this suitcase incident occurred, the Lord brought to my attention another illustration of the hard work of “seeking.” One of our members had for some time felt a great desire to get the Lord’s message of love into the prisons in his country. However, that country was not friendly to the Gospel, and the chances of its government sanctioning something religious in their prisons was remote at best.

The situation seemed impossible. Did this man give up? No. He knew with all his heart that the Lord wanted him to find a way. Because of this deep conviction, he kept asking and seeking, knocking and searching for anyone who could help him to accomplish his mission. It was a discouraging task, as he approached many people at government agencies who were cold and even antagonistic, and who repeatedly said, “No.”

At this point, he could have said, “I thought it was God’s will, but maybe I was wrong because none of the doors are opening.” But God had spoken to him and he knew that God’s will was to reach those men and women who needed God’s love so much. He had been assured in his heart time after time that it was God’s will for him to pursue this. Because of that, he was determined to continue his search to find someone who would help.

Finally, there was a glimmer of hope! He met a man who said he might know someone who could help and that he would contact this person. Time passed, and nothing happened. Not until two months later did he see the first positive sign in the form of an official letter from a government agency signed by the head of the department of corrections for the entire country.

The good news that the letter conveyed was that the department head had read a booklet prepared for prisoners called “Freedom Within,” as well as the other literature he had been sent, and had been touched. He said he believed the material would be very beneficial to have available in the correctional institutions throughout the country and that he would make sure that they were placed in the libraries of each of these facilities.

It wasn’t long before this TFI member began getting letters from prisoners expressing appreciation for these publications and manifesting a desire to learn more. God had done the needed miracle, but only in partnership with this man who worked hard and didn’t give up.

Seeking and saving isn’t always easy, but God has a way. (See Luke 19:10.) If you persevere, if you know that God is calling you to reach a specific person or group, if you have assurance in your heart and a passion to make it happen, together you and the Lord can do it. If something is His will, He and you can accomplish it as you refuse to give up, no matter how impossible it seems. Those are the dynamics of partnering with God.