Jill’s Home, Finally!

With all the ups and downs this week, you can imagine that Janet and I were excited that Jill was due to come back to Indiana today; for a visit until the middle of next week. It’s no easy task for her to get here; and this time she brought Drew, her 20 month old son, with her. Tom will have to fend for himself in Oklahoma, and although we always enjoy him coming along, he opted out this trip. But Jill traveling with a youngster is pretty tough, and since I had so many miles saved on American Airlines, Janet and I decided to fly Jill and Drew first class. Little did we know how much that would mean to her by the end of the day.

To start with, Jill’s family lives 3 hours west of Oklahoma City, so she headed out from home last night to get the drive portion of the trip out of the way. Unfortunately, Jill and Drew ended up in a hotel which was noisy all night, so they were tired when they left for the airport at 7 this morning. The flight to Dallas, their first leg was delayed, but they finally took off and as they approached Dallas, DFW closed, and the pilot of their jet had to turn around, and landed back in Oklahoma City! After a ground delay of 2 hours, still on the plane, they tried again, and another false start. Finally, success and they took off and eventually landed in Dallas, more than three hours late. I was trying to run interference from here, and was able to get them re-booked on a flight to Indy since they missed the first connection. Thankfully, that was successful.

They arrived safe in Indy early this evening. But the day was quite an ordeal, and both Jill and Drew are pretty tired tonight. All the weather delays brought back memories to me. Not that I am pleased that they were delayed. But sometimes, when I fly around storms, the sky is just beautiful and the cloud formations are magnificent. During the last four years or so, I have travelled to Dallas more than 45 times, and so I am really familiar with Dallas airport. And of all the airports I frequent, you never know what you are going to experience there – the weather comes out of nowhere. Sometimes it rains so hard you can hardly see, and then 10 minutes later, it is over and the sun is shining.

The point of all this is that living in the time that we do, we are treated to all sorts of beauty, including the clouds, and the storms, that could not be experienced before the time of flight – either in planes, jets or for that matter, spacecraft. One of the most famous photos in the world is the one that was taken from the moon, called Earthrise, that shows the earth in all it beauty from 300,000 miles away. Certainly, while never having been able to witness this spectacle from space, I do remember many times that all I could do was worship God as a result of seeing the beauty of nature that He created above the surface of the earth. Sunrises, sunsets and cloud formations are all things that seem to be more beautiful when seen from the cabin of a jet.

But it is a little known fact that years before Columbus discovered the earth was round, at least one person already knew it – more than several thousand years ago! And that is amazing, in that many people thought that ships would said right off the end of the earth, up to about 500 years ago, before it was proven mathematically that the earth was round. And who was that person? Isaiah, the Old Testament Prophet! And his comments are something that you possible have read, but never really considered. The passages occur in Is 40:21-22, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”

Notice that the prophet says that God sits enthroned above the “circle” of the earth, and a more appropriate translation is probably the “sphere” of the earth. In other words, when seen from space, the earth looks like a circle, and not flat like a piece of paper. And believe it or not, Columbus had a strong faith and it was on his reading of this verse of Scripture that he set out on his voyages to the New World of America – believing that he would be safe, based on the book of Isaiah. Is that incredible or what? How could Isaiah have known the earth was round, unless that information had come directly from God?

So my encouragement tonight is that God is omniscient – all knowing – and that includes everything in the past as well as everything that will happen in the future. And while we have the freedom of free will, God already knows the decisions we will make, and since we are His children, we know that everything works together for good. And my prayer is that you will turn to the Father and trust the decisions you make for your life. Because even if they are not the best decisions, you are not beyond the reach of God. And the Scripture from this evening is another reinforcement that the Bible is authentic and true. You can count on that! Just like Columbus did when he took the step of faith and set out on his voyage to what was ultimately our homeland here on Earth. Have a great day!


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