Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.Philippians 4:6
Several years ago, one of my best friends got stuck in Terceira, Portugal. She didn’t even reach her ultimate destination when their plane encountered a storm, a passenger had a heart attack, and after an emergency landing, the plane stopped working.
Talk about a crisis.
I remember the panicked messages she sent, and how worried I felt. I couldn’t do anything to help, other than stay in contact, encourage her, and pray. As I prayed for her throughout my day, I thought about my current problems (at the time). I remember thinking, “I would do anything to get stuck in Portugal right now.”
I felt as if it’d be the perfect escape from my current reality. Which was hard, but that’s when my perspective shifted. I daydreamed for just a quick second about being stuck in Portugal, literally, when the Holy Spirit spoke, “This is your Portugal.”
Just like my friend got stuck in the actual country, I got stuck in my own “Portugal”-present-problems (say that fast three times, LOL). While I wished to be in her shoes, someone else wanted to be in mine. I thought about others experiencing crises I wouldn’t understand or relate to, and that helped me realize how easy it is to get discontent in life, and even worse, lost in self-pity.
I came across this memory while thinking about our world today. It’s a crazy time we live in, and it’s easy to get discouraged. We’re looking at social media more than ever, and many of us are trying to stay sane within the walls of our house. We wonder about when this will all be over while wishing there were more “real” people through our phone screens.
It’s only a matter of time until this is all over. But even when it is, where will we be? Still stuck in our Portugal? Or wishing we had someone else’s problem?
See, it wasn’t long until my friend’s flight rescheduled, and their “stuck” time turned into “waiting.” They waited at the airport and entertained themselves by FaceTiming friends and family, playing games, and making conversation. We all had hope that this next plane would take them to their destination. Safely.
And it did.
While on the other hand, or side of the world, I had a decision to make. Did I want to stay “stuck” in my “Portugal?” Or would I change my stuck to waiting and hope for the best outcome? I could’ve gone with the first option, but I knew that it would eventually lead me into a depressed state.
Y’all, let’s turn our stuck time into waiting and sprinkle some hope on top.
The plane will come, and before we know it, we’ll wish we had some more time to explore (or sit around) during our “Portugal” season. Pick up some hobbies or books that collected dust when there wasn’t “enough time.” Learn a new skill from YouTube, memorize Bible verses, and check up on your friends and family (make peace if you have to). Drink lots of tea and play ALL the board games, practice calisthenics, hug the people you live with, and don’t forget to eat some vegetables.
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11