I know God does not make mistakes, but sometimes I need to be reminded. For my flight from Amsterdam to Portland, Oregon last fall, I requested an aisle seat. I hate crawling over people when I need to stretch my legs. When I boarded the plane, my seat location was the second toward the middle of a four-seat section. I felt cramped and claustrophobic. Thankfully, after everyone boarded, the aisle seat behind me was free, so I was able to move.
The lady next to me was from Ukraine. She looked unkept with dirty finger nails and her coat had smudges of mud. More than likely, she came from a poor war-torn village. She was on her way to visit her daughter who lives in Portland.
Galina spoke only a word or two of English (chicken, I love you). God has a sense of humor - I ended up translating for her with my limited Russian the meal options, instructions from flight attendants, (fasten your seat belt), etc. We managed to carry on a bit of conversation throughout the flight.
At one point, she made the sign of the cross as if she was posing a question to me. I shook my head "yes" and said "Jesus" in Russian. Before we exited the plane, I gave her a gospel bracelet and pointed to the red bead saying "Jesus." She quickly put it on, hugging me and kissing me on the cheek.
If I’d been given an aisle seat as I originally requested, I may have ended up on another aisle without a the chance to meet this precious soul. When things don't work out the way you expect, there may be a very good reason.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9, NIV).