One time during a meeting with my church home group, the leader asked us to share some recent prayers that had been answered. I shared about arriving too late to a jam-packed airport and being run through check-in, baggage drop, and customs by an angelic check-in attendant. Without her my friend and I would not have made our flight to Malaysia. I had to laugh when I thought of it, because God has always provided a way for things to work out in my many transportation escapades. I’ve done lots of travel by bus, train, plane, and ferry, all of which require very specific time schedules. But when your connections are not on time? That’s when you pray. My prayers in this area have been answered with such regularity over the years that I’ve lost count of all of them. Now when I pray to make my next departure times, I do it with confidence that God hears me and will work it all out.
No surprise, there was another opportunity to test this out on my way from Kumihama to my next destination, Tokushima. It would be another long day of trains, but I wasn’t very worried. I had a long stop at Himeji, and exited the station to buy a snack from the 7-11 convenient store across the hall. I slid my ticket back in to the machine and was back on my journey. On long train journeys, most of the transfers happen at the end of the line when the train you are riding will go no further. They announce that it’s the last stop, and everyone gets out at their leisure. What I didn’t realize was that my next transfer was not the end of the line, but a change in direction. I was too slow about gathering my things and missed the exit. Uh oh. I got off at the next station and waited for the next train going back that way. It felt like ages, but finally came. I was at my original transfer station and back on track.
During the half hour wait for the next train, I realized that my original problem (missing my stop) was not the real problem of the day. My ticket was wrong. It ended at Himeji and listed a price $45 less than I paid. I approached the ticket window and explained my situation. In talking to them, it occurred to me that something might have happened when I exited Himeji Station. It seemed that the woman in front of me had forgotten to take her ticket out of the machine, so I ended up with hers. The big question was what we could do about it. They called over to Himeji and lo and behold, my ticket was discovered unclaimed at the station. They faxed a copy (cause that’s still a thing in Japan) over and filled out the appropriate paperwork, giving me the most unique train ticket I’d ever received. Then they printed off my new schedule. I couldn’t believe it. My arrival time in Tokushima was the same as it would have been if I hadn’t missed my stop. You can call it luck, or chance, but I believe God orchestrated the whole thing for my good.
Since realizing that God has been so faithful with getting me where I need to go, I’ve begun wondering. What would happen if I trusted God with as much confidence in all my prayers?