We could all agree that having a run in with the TSA doesn’t mean you’re about to have a great day! This was my thought as I arrived at the TSA checkpoint inside of GSP Airport in South Carolina on the way to see my family. The TSA is a federal agency in the US called the Transportation Security Administration and they are charged with keeping travelers and the US safe.
When you have a run in with the TSA one or two things is about to happen, one, your stuff is about to get searched or two you are about to get questioned about why you are traveling with what it is you’re traveling with and about your mother’s birth name and the day your great great great grandpa took his first baby steps.
But this day was unusual for me… I don’t normally get stopped at the screening station when I travel through airports because I’m cautious about what I take with me but I did get stopped this day and if I’m being honest I was feeling a bit down before I ever reached the TSA checkpoint. I’m not talking about physically down but spiritually down. Have you ever felt like this before?
Like you are in a ditch or rut in your spiritual walk and you don’t “feel as close to Jesus” as you’d like to feel? This was me on this day and when I got stopped by the TSA agent something unexpected happened to me.
God Used The TSA
One of the TSA agents pulled me to the side and he started taking everything out of my bag one item at a time and as he was searching he found my bible and glanced up at me. His first words were “Sometimes bibles go off in the sensors because you can hide contraband between the pages but you didn’t get that idea from me” and I said “I promise I didn’t do that!”
As he was flipping through my bible to see if I had any contraband between the pages he looked at me and said, “I see that you have marks across the pages as if you know what your doing” and I said “I try to follow Jesus the best I can.” He then replied, “It’s not always easy following Jesus, I’ve seen to many of my friends that were Christians abandon their faith. Don’t let that be you. Keep up your faith and never give up.”
What this gentlemen didn’t know is that I was feeling spiritually down. Jesus had ordained my bible to go off in that screening area so he could use the TSA agent to speak to my heart. I was so compelled by this and it reminded me that no it’s not always easy but that Jesus is with me every step I take and he’ll never leave me (Hebrews 13:5).
As I thought more about what had happened I began thinking about how in the book of 2 Timothy the apostle Paul teaches and encourages us to not give up on our faith. He explains it like this:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Fighting To Stay Faithful
Life is difficult and it’s hard to remain faithful. Jesus told us that we would not have an easy course in life (John 16:33). I thought about how the TSA agents friends must have felt in order to abandon their faith. They had to feel that God wasn’t answering their prayers or that somehow God had forgotten them through their circumstances. I don’t know what their circumstances were and neither do I know yours but what I do know is we have a God who has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
You may be going through a family crisis, a financial burden, pressure to excel in your education or you just simply feel alone. I want to express to you that God knows how you feel, he knows the pressure you’re under and how it’s causing you to worry and fret.
A Next Step
Staying diligent in our prayer life is a great way to fight the good fight. Prayer connects us to God and when we pray we are invoking our right to have complete access to God. Prayer can not only build confidence but it helps ease our heart from earthly burdens. It allows us to dwell in the presence of God while opening the door for Him to speak to us in a way that is amazing and then so much more.
I want prayer to be your next step even if it’s praying for two minutes. You don’t have to pray a fancy dressed up prayer simply express your thoughts and feelings to God. I promise he can handle them.
I invite you to say this prayer along with me.
“Father, I don’t feel close to you right now and I’m burdened by all the things going on around me. I want to see you working through all of this and I want to remain faithful. I need your help in doing this and I want to see your fingerprints on my life. God may my heart be comforted by your love. Amen.”
Know that God sees you and he cares about you. Let the fact that you’re reading this speak to your heart just like that TSA agent spoke to me. I encourage you to reach out to a fellow Christian in your life and talk with them about what you’re going through. Feel free to leave a comment as well and I will pray for you my friend. You can endure, you’ve got what it takes. Fight the good fight, stay in the race and keep your faith.