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Life Lessons at the Airport Baggage Claim

Shannon Cook | Jul 16, 2019

In April, I was sitting at the airport awaiting my father’s arrival. He and I had taken flights out of different cities and planned to meet in Frankfurt, Germany for a layover to Prague, Czech Republic. Due to a delay in his flight, there were roughly six hours before he would land. With time to spare, I waited by the baggage claim, just people watching. They came and went. Some in mass numbers, some individually. A few caught their luggage at the carousel, others looked panicked not to find theirs. The atmosphere was ever changing.

Calm.

Chaos.

Calm.

Chaos.

Inconsistency was the name of the game. In a matter of minutes, quiet spaces would be swarmed with passengers. I observed in awe at how drastically conditions would change. Incoming planes brought with them new arrivals and their luggage, and their movement and interaction. No two passengers had the same traveling experience. There were so many variations in outcomes.

I never knew what the next moment would bring. Nothing was to be expected. In fact, every moving part was unexpected, and I enjoyed embracing all of the unexpectancy. New crowds of people would saunter in, vying for the chance to retrieve their bags, and I sat scrutinizing their every move.

The thing is, there were just so many underlying illustrations in all of these transitions.

Empty spaces being replenished with new life . . .

The environment changing in a moment’s notice . . .

Hopeful faces appearing discouraged when baggage was nowhere in sight . . .

Satisfied travelers retrieving their luggage and departing the airport with ease . . .

Though we will never know what tomorrow brings or what empty spaces the Lord will fill, we can trust that He will fill them. He will supply for us in our time of need (Psalm 23:5), and He will guide us through calamity (Psalm 23:1-2). Our faithfulness in Him should not be dictated by what happens to us (Psalm 23:4), but rather, we have the opportunity to be hopeful and satisfied in Him no matter the circumstance. His Word reveals this to us! Numerous times He blesses His children with abundant provisions, and we can trust that He will do the same for us!

I never go looking for illustrations, but there in the airport baggage claim the Lord definitely shared a few with me. After several dozen cycles of people watching and observing their transitions, the next round of travelers included my father.

Shannon