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I had missed getting on two flights before finally getting out of Phoenix and was now stuck in Nashville needing to get to Indianapolis. The only problem is you can’t fly from Nashville to Indy, at least not on Southwest. I was flying standby – a free but risky way to travel, especially when flights are fewer in number and typically full anymore. It’s first-come, first on the list at the gate when you’re standby. If they get cancellations or no shows they start down the list of names, for however many seats are available, while those of us on that list stand hopefully by holding our breath.

I had missed getting on flights all day and it was the last flight out to Chicago where I’d likely have to stay the night. Then I heard the beautiful and welcome voice of the gate attendant say my name. I was already standing with bag in hand and practically leaped forward eagerly and with great relief. The attendant who had watched me sit all day not getting called seemed genuinely happy for me. At other times in life I might let others go first, but being desperate and weary I probably would’ve even jumped a mom and stroller of little ones to get on that flight!

I thought again about this experience today and thought how thankful I am that I’m on God’s list for a flight from this world someday to be with Him forever, freer than ever before. The cool thing about his list, though, is that there’s no worry there won’t be enough space. Anyone who has their name written on God’s list will be called and will get to fly. What a joy and relief.

Now if we could just pass on that reason for thankfulness to the anxious or even oblivious passengers around us who aren’t even on the list yet.

Thank you, God, for writing my name in your book and promising me a ticket out of this world and into heaven.

[Jesus said] “Conquerors will march in the victory parade, their names indelible in the Book of Life. I’ll lead them up and present them by name to my Father and his Angels.” Rev. 3:5 The Msg