Hope at 30,000 Feet

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I’m Keith Stevens.  We’re talking today about overcoming challenges and keeping a positive mindset. Sometimes that’s tough to do especially when life can surprise you with difficult news.  But Elli seemed to be able to maintain a spirit of hope.  I met Elli when she sat next to me on a flight from Minnesota to New Jersey.  She was heading back east for Thanksgiving to visit family.   As the flight took off we got to talking and Elli shared with me how thankful she was that her family back east paid for her  plane ticket.   She said she had just gotten out of treatment and was clean out of money.  I noticed Elli’s hair was thinning…and that she seemed a little weak. I asked her what was going on. And She went on to tell me how 15 years ago she had to have a spot removed from her skin as it was suspected to be cancerous, but doctor’s  reassured her it was nothing to worry about.  Elli thought nothing of it and went on living her life.  But recently, on a routine visit to the doctor, Elli was told that she now has cancer throughout her body.   She said , “keith, the doctors only gave me 6 months to live”..  I hesitated …I mean what do you say to someone you’ve never met before that has terminal cancer…but I reached out and asked her how she keeps going on…She said …just as the wind and these jet engines carry us on this plane halfway  across the country at 30,000 feet, God lifts me up on wings as eagles, and promises that one day I will run and not grow weary, and I’ll walk and not faint.  I hold onto the hope that the Bible gives me.  You see…I’m not even supposed to be on this plane right now.  I’m supposed to be dead… but I’m in my 8th month of life since the diagnosis.  And I have a hope that there’s a brighter day ahead for me.  

And as the plane touched down and we went our separate ways, I think of Elli, and I remember her ability to keep a positive mindset, even in the midst of dying. And ya know, I hope she is still alive today…but maybe she’s looking down from heaven right now and listening in  with a smile, knowing  that she made a difference.