Have any of you seen Tom Hanks’ movie The Terminal ?
He played a visitor from Eastern Europe who came to America and found himself stuck in the airport because of a useless passport. Well, that’s what happened to me on my way from Oregon to London and on to South Africa.
Everything went well until we arrived in London. Walking up to the South African airlines checkin desk, we pulled out our passports and waited for our boarding cards. That’s when the Tom Hanks movie began playing in my mind.
“We’re so sorry, but you can’t fly out tonight. Your passport doesn’t have four blank pages.”
“What do you mean?,” I asked. “Why do I need four blank pages to get on the plane?”
“Well, that’s the law,” the friendly clerk said. “I’m afraid you have to go to the American embassy and get them inserted before you can fly.”
To go to the embassy in central London meant dragging all our luggage with us (once we found it in the bowels of the terminal). It was late Friday afternoon, which meant we couldn’t do anything until Monday, so we had to get a hotel for the weekend. The next day we went to find the embassy, only to be told by a guard that we needed an emergency appointment to get in—plus, Monday was Memorial Day and the embassy was closed until Tuesday.
Needless to say, I was feeling stressed. It was our wedding anniversary, we had to cancel our few days’ romantic holiday in Cape Town, and we had nonrefundable tickets within South Africa. We eventually arrived at our destination on Wednesday morning. But where was God? And what was going on?
Quite honestly, I didn’t see some big cosmic lesson that I was supposed to learn. But I did do some thinking about stress.
Here are a few insights that might help you:
- We can’t control life—it happens.
- Yes, we can control our reactions, but we are not robots. We have chemicals surging that produce adrenaline, anxiety, frustration, disappointment. These need time to dissipate.
- Understand that stress happens more easily when you’re tired, lacking sleep, eating at odd hours, and not taking medications on your normal schedule.
What can you do?
- Treat yourself, and those around you, kindly. After all, God is full of mercy. (Heb. 4:16)
- Thank the Lord that He is with you, even if nothing makes sense. (Is. 55:8–9)
- Do what you can to relax, and also do what you can to improve your situation.
- Pray, praise, count your blessings, read the Word, and wait for this to pass!
When you’re stressed out, what helps you? Make a comment and let’s encourage each other.