Airport Chairs

  • July 18, 2017
  • #9187

If we wait on the Lord with patience, He will reveal his glory and give us joyful reminders of His presence.

Airport Chairs

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a word about waiting.

To be more specific, I mean waiting on the Lord.  And often my best times of "waiting on the Lord" happen when I am waiting in a busy airport, whether for a delayed flight or for late baggage.  Nowadays, airports are not my favorite haunts.  But when everything is noisy and everything is harried and hurried, when people are shoving to get through, or cursing a canceled flight, I find it’s rather an honest microcosm of life. If you squeeze life down into a nutshell, it feels a little like LAX on a holiday weekend.  But during those delayed flights, or when I am waiting interminably by the luggage carousel, that’s when I look for God’s reminders of his glory and His grace. Over the years, I’ve seen him do it at airports time and again. I just have to keep my eyes open, and that I do. Like recently when I was waiting in the special services section while Ken was parking our van.

I looked at the set of chairs designed for handicapped passengers. They were all blue leather chairs with the recognizable handicap-icon stamped in white on the face of the chair; you know, that little stick guy sitting profile in a stick figure wheelchair? I’m sure you’ve seen it many times. There they were, 3 blue seats in a row, but the middle seat was different. I smiled when I noticed that the little white stick figure, the little guy, was missing his wheelchair! It was so funny looking, I had to snap a photo of it and, in fact, I posted it on my radio page today at You’ve just got to see it for yourself. And I tell you, when I sat there and saw that funny sight, like someone had taken a knife and scratched off the white stick wheelchair, leaving its little stick person sitting in midair, well, it opened the eyes of my heart. Because while waiting in the special services section that day, it made me muse on Isaiah Chapter 35 where it says: "Say to those with anxious hearts, 'Be strong and do not be afraid. Here is your God and He will save you.' Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the lame will leap like deer."

Oh friend, I'm a little like that stick figure; one day I will be missing my wheelchair (amazing what you glean from an airport's Special Services Section)! This world is a lot like LAX, filled with people rushing here and there.  And if you didn’t know better, you would think that this crazy parade of harried life will just go on forever. But it won’t. Eternity is right around the corner, a time when God will come and rescue us, opening our blind eyes, and healing our disabled bodies. And it was not lost on me that God put me in that special services section to show me a surprising, and yet a very joyful reminder of his glory and grace. When we wait on the Lord with patience, when we wait on Him while actively looking for His fingerprints on our surroundings, when we open the eyes of His heart, He shows himself. He whispers to us; He delights us, and He gives us vivid reminders of His presence and His word, such as that blue seat with the missing wheelchair. How it reminded me of Isaiah Chapter 35. And for the next 20 minutes while I waited for Ken, I delighted in thinking of all of God’s heaven-sent promises and heavenly glories waiting for me above.

Remember, when you open the eyes of your hearts, when you wait on Him, you can’t help but notice quiet heaven-sent messages from God all around you. So today, even if you’re heading for the airport, keep your eyes open for God's message of encouragement just for you.

© Joni and Friends


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