Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Stranger in a Strange Land

tired man waiting with his luggage at the airport
Author Biography

    Born in the same city as CBN itself (Portsmouth, VA), Aaron enjoys being one of the few home-grown employees. He and his wife Michele are grateful for their “Little” family complete with one son and one daughter. Aaron is an active member at his church where he also serves as one of the guitarists on the worship team.

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Aaron M. Little - Sr. Manager, 700 Club Digital Media

For reasons beyond my control, I woke up in a small hotel on the coast of the Netherlands alone and anxious to make a fifteen-mile journey to the airport and catch a flight home to the United States. I had just graduated from college and jumped at the chance to accompany my father on an international business trip. At the end of our journey, an emergency demanded he travel to the Middle East for work. I would need to navigate the last leg of my return trip facing the obstacle of being a stranger in a strange land just trying to make my way home.

In the small coastal town of Zandvoort, Dutch was the native tongue, and I did not speak it. However, I had a plan. Getting a cab from the hotel to the train station was a success. I arrived on time and was feeling confident as I walked in. Then I noticed there was no ticket counter. There were some automated machines, but they were all exclusively in Dutch. I didn’t see any type of station attendant anywhere. Controlled panic began to build, but I earnestly prayed that God would make a way to overcome this obstacle in the way of my journey home.

The Zandvoort rail depot was an end-of-the-line station there at the coast…so there was only one platform upon which to board trains. I figured I’d just go out there and maybe I’d run into an employee who could help me buy a ticket. All I found were locals waiting to catch the midmorning train into the Dutch heartland.

I waited for the train. Surely once one arrived, there would be a porter eager to help a young foreign kid desperately trying to navigate his way to the airport. Not so much. When the train did arrive, in an act that straddles the line between insolence and desperation, I boarded ticketless, knowing at the end of the day I could not miss my flight.

Everything was going well as the train began to roll down the tracks. Even though I never figured out how to buy passage, I had a pocket full of guilders ready to appease anyone desiring to hold me accountable. I was nervous as a railway official finally emerged and entered our car to punch tickets, speaking Dutch to all he encountered. Confrontation was inevitable and briefly awkward. All I could do was reach in my pockets and produce a handful of coins and ask, “can you help me buy a ticket?” The attendant was more than gracious as he immediately used his English to assist me. The language barrier obstacle had been overcome and I was no longer an outlaw riding a train with no ticket. I made it to the airport and eventually back home.

We all face obstacles in life. Some are far more serious and impactful than my anecdote, but obstacles are a regular part of the human experience. However, it is critical to remember that with God on our side, no obstacle can defeat us.

When I read the end of Matthew chapter 27 in the Bible, I see humans throwing out all the stops to create obstacles to anyone attempting to remove Jesus’s dead body from the Garden Tomb. Jesus has just been crucified and placed in the tomb and the Jewish religious leaders are afraid Christ’s followers will steal his body to fulfill the resurrection prophecy.

The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive, he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come, steal him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”

“Take guards,” Pilate told them. “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” They went and secured the tomb by setting a seal on the stone and placing the guards (Matthew 27:62-67 CSB).

Man conspired to place obstacles in the way of God’s will. An armed guard was positioned to keep people away. By human standards, the tomb was impenetrable and inescapable. I think we all know how this situation played out. The power of Almighty God crushed every obstacle put in the way of His plan and Jesus emerged from the grave and fulfilled the greatest prophecy of all time.

This same power is available to believers as you face obstacles in your life. God is in love with you and has a plan for you and your success. Keep your faith in Christ, because when you dedicate your life to seeking Him and following His commands, there is no obstacle that can keep you separated from His good and perfect plan for your life. Regardless of the forces of man or even just circumstance that may conspire against you, those forces are no match for the power of Almighty God to make a way when there seems to be no way.


Scripture is quoted from the Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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