When I got to the back end, seated beside my empty chair was a 'cool' looking middle eastern man. He looked like someone from the popular crowd. He was quite intimidating actually. He seemed like someone who would mock me if I opt to open my Bible in mid air. I could already imagine him asking "What are you reading?" with a smirk. I was still wrestling whether to read now in the plane or find some other time later to read it. If ever I would experience persecution or being the butt of his jokes, at least he'd know that I believe in God. And since God has promised vindication, I knew that He'd believe in God sooner or later.
So I decided to open my Bible. I read Isaiah 49. It was a VERY timely message. Before I boarded the plane, when I was waiting in line at the customs area, I was reflecting whether I should continue writing or start a business already. I asked a good friend of mine the same thing. She suggested that maybe I should prioritize writing for now because I bless more people that way. But I am not earning from it, I thought. I'm not even sure if people were reading my entries. I just felt quite lost.
Before my turn came, something inside me was telling me, use your gift to bless others even if it won't pay much. Trust that God will provide. Now, back to Isaiah 49. Isaiah 49 was my reading for that day. I was surprised that when I arrived at verse 4, someone knew how I felt and put it all into a verse.. "I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord's hand, and my reward is with my God."
Amazing how timely it was. And even more amazing was God's reply. He started by saying he formed the servant in the womb. Even before he was born, God has placed in him his purpose. His purpose was something greater than restoring Israel. He was to be "a light for the Gentiles" that God's salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. I felt that God was speaking straight to me; telling me to go be a light, whether you write or speak, just go and light up the world.
After I thanked God for His wonderful living Word and the joy and comfort alongside it, my seatmate took out a book and started reading as well. The book was oddly familiar. It was in English. Before I got to peek the title on the cover, he turned to me and ask, "What version are you reading?" I said, "NLT." I learned after a short volley of dialogue later that he is a brother in Christ!
His side of the story. When a flight attendant announced, "For those who are willing to pay extra $20 to change seats, there are still some seats available near the exit doors," he was tempted to grab the opportunity. But he felt that he shouldn't, and so he decided to stay in his cramped spot. He admitted, "Maybe this is the reason why something in me told me to stay, (for us to encourage one another)." He told me that the day before our flight, he was on the verge of giving up his faith.
Interesting how the book he was reading and a two hour conversation with a family in Christ brought back joy in him. I was more often merely listening to him share about his learnings, the books that he read, and a bit of his struggles. The fire in him was slowly lighting brighter and brighter as he excitedly quoted verses from the Psalms and shared how these lines helped him that day.
I thank You and praise You, Holy Spirit for speaking to us when we need it the most. In Jesus name, Amen. :)